The Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget for 2022-23 announced National Ropeways Development Programme – “Parvatmala” to improve connectivity in hilly areas.
- The scheme will be taken up on PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode, which will be a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative in place of conventional roads in difficult hilly areas.
- The idea is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism.
- This may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit systems are not feasible.
- The scheme is being presently started in regions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and the other North Eastern states.
- The Finance Minister announced that contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km would be awarded in 2022-23.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) will have responsibility for development of ropeway and alternative mobility solutions technology, as well as construction, research, and policy in this area.
- In February 2021, the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 was amended, which enabled the MORTH to also look after the development of Ropeways and Alternate Mobility Solutions.
- The move will give a boost to the sector by setting up a regulatory regime.
- The MORTH has so far been responsible for development of Highways and regulating the road transport sector across the country.