No response to tender for installation of vertical lift from Peerkho to Mubarak Mandi

*J&K Cable Car Corpn likely to modify clauses

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, June 23: There is no response to the tender floated by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation for installation of vertical lift from Peerkho to Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex even after extension in the timeline several times. Due to this, no time-frame can be specified for start of work on the much-talked about project.
The project to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 27 crore was approved by the Administrative Council in the month of September last year and it was officially stated that vertical lift will connect the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex with Peerkho Station of Jammu Ropeway Project and other tourist/pilgrim places providing a complete tourist/pilgrim circuit.
Further, it was mentioned in the decision that the circuit shall be of huge convenience to the tourists and pilgrims visiting nearby spots such as Jammu Ropeway Project, Peerkho Temple, Mahamaya Temple, Bahu Fort, Bagh-e-Bahu and Bawe Wali Mata Temple.
Moreover, the vertical lift project was conceived to provide easy connectivity from Mubarak Mandi Complex to other three Pracheen temples and other tourist-related places in Jammu district and to attract the pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and provide them a complete religious circuit. Again, it was mentioned that project will boost the heritage/pilgrim tourism, enhance the revenue earnings of the Jammu Ropeway Project along with generation of employment opportunities.
Following the approval of the Administrative Council, the J&K Cable Car Corporation floated tender for Planning, Design, Engineering, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of Vertical Lift and connecting bridges complete in all respect between Peerkho to Mubarak Mandi Complex on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Mode.

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The last date for response to the tender was November 29, 2023 but during the prescribed time-frame not even single tender was received by J&K Cable Car Corporation and thereafter timeline was extended two-three times. Despite this no company showed interest in the project as such at present nobody in the J&K Cable Car Corporation is in a position to specify time-frame for start of work on the project.
When contacted, Raja Yaqoob, Managing Director of J&K Cable Car Corporation confirmed that there was no response to the tender and said, “we are holding consultations and hopefully the clauses will be modified and thereafter fresh tender will be issued”.
As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the project will be divided into two sections, each with a vertical rise of 38 and 30 meters and two footbridges with spans of 34 and 30 meters, respectively. The project will have a Base Station, an Intermediate Station, an Upper Station and Capsule-type cabins with panoramic views. There will also be parking available at the Intermediate Station.
However, experts in the tourism sector have expressed reservations over the project on the ground that structural stability of the hill where the load bearing structure of foot-bridge to be connected with the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex is weak and hill slope in unstable posing threat to the heritage structure.
“As majority of the structures in the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex are yet to be restored and preserved what sort of experience the visitors will have remains a million dollar question”, they further said, adding “keeping in view the present slow pace of restoration work on the buildings inside the complex there is no possibility of preservation of maximum portion even by the completion of vertical lift project”.
“Before planning this project, the administration should have ensured restoration of vast portion of the heritage complex so as to attract large number of visitors”, they further said. EXCELSIOR has also learnt that a member of civil society has also filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh against this project as well as delay in restoration of Mubarak Mandi Complex.