JAMMU: Believe grapevine, the ambitious Bahu Fort-Peerkho Gandola Ropeway Project is likely to be thrown open in the second week of June 2019. But before the formal launch, recent inspection of the project on ground zero has alerted the executing agencies about the dangers posed by the blatant mining in the Tawi river bed.
It has come to the notice of the project authorities that illegal mining goes unchecked in areas closer to ropeway towers installed in the Tawi river bed. In November 2016, the Division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had imposed complete ban on extraction of minor minerals from River Tawi but till date the government agencies have failed to check the menace of mining. The nexus of builders, contractors and other agencies have robbed the Tawi river bed right under the nose of various government departments and now it has come to haunt the ropeway authorities. Unconfirmed reports claimed mining goes on even during night hours and there is no one to check the movement of tractor trolleys and other vehicles. No security check point has been established near the Tawi river bed to prevent entry of these vehicles. According to official sources, large scale mining was the biggest factor for the delay in the project. The blame lies with the police camping in the area. Till date they have failed to seize even a single vehicle involved in illegal mining. The 1.57-km-long cable car project has two phases. The first is from Mahamaya to Peerkho over the Tawi with seven towers and a total length of 1.11 km. The second phase is from the Bahu Fort to Mahamaya Park with two towers. It is 447 m in length. Of the seven towers of the first phase, four are on the Tawi bed. Of these, Towers 2 and 4 are facing threat of damage due to illegal mining.
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