Upcoming Aerial Ropeway Might Be The Solution To Kolkata's Traffic Congestion Issues

01/07/2015 12:52 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Cars and taxis wait for the traffic light to change. (See original)

Ever thought of travelling on ropeway in Kolkata?

The wait may get over soon as a company is all set to introduce Curvo, the world's first non-linear aerial ropeway, for second tier urban commutation in two sectors in the city along with the state government.

"It was a dream to provide a pollution-free and traffic-free mode of transportation system to people and we will be the first in the world to introduce this non-linear aerial ropeway system," said Shekhar Chakravarty, Conveyor and Ropeway Services Private Limited (CRSPL) Managing Director.

The two sectors were Sealdah to BBD Bagh area and from Howrah to the new state secretariat at Nabanna. "We have carried out a detailed survey on certain congested major arterial roads like Sealdah, College Street and Park Street and have submitted a complete plan to the state government," said company director Rachana Mukherjee.

"We have spoken to the Urban development minister and KMDA chairman Firhad Hakim and Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is working on the proposal," said Chakravarty. "The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Ltd (ILFS) was working on the detailed project report (DPR) and once that was ready, tenders would be floated." He also added that a test run of the prototype has been conducted on 500m stretch at Bhasha near Joka and the Kolkata-based company was in the process of applying for certification to open the prototype to the public.

The service, operational on electricity, would be on steel frames spreading at a distance of around 90-100 m running through the existing arterial and other roads to avoid congested streets of the city. "There would be elevated stops at every distance of 750 m and the cars would be able to gain speed of about 4.25 m per second (12.5 km/hour) with the ability to carry an estimated 2,000 people every hour, " said Chakravarty who was hopeful of introducing Curvo in 18-24 months. "The cabins will have an accommodation capacity of 8-10 persons and will run at intervals of 22-25 seconds," he said.

Maintaining that Kolkata has a potential of having 100 non-linear ropeways, Mukherjee said, "Curvo will require nominal ground space for stations and rope-supporting portal frames. It has nothing to do with road space and the traffic flow or with the pedestrian flow below. Since it will run on electricity, there will not be emission of any poisonous gas also. It is reasonably noiseless and will travel at an average hourly speed of around 12.5 km despite route alignment." The stations, she said, would have elevators for reaching the station level.

Once a cabin reaches a station, doors will open automatically and facilitate boarding/deboarding at very low speed of .25 metres per second," she said, adding the carrying capacity of the ropeway would be 2,000-2,500 passengers per hour in each direction on a single track. Talking about the costs, Mukherjee said "It will be one-tenth to that of Metro trains. The estimated cost of putting this system in operation will be Rs 20 crore per km. It was learnt that nearly Rs ten crore was spent over the last 5-7 years to design and develop CRSPL's patented product in Joka.

Mukherjee further claimed Bangladesh has shown interest in the Curvo-concept for use at its capital, Dhaka. She also claimed CRSPL, which has a 40 per cent market share in India's ropeway industry, has bagged an order from GTA for a 2.5 km passenger ropeway from Siliguri's Rohini Tourist Complex to Gidda Pahar in Kurseong, besides several other other projects in Rajasthan.

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