Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday digitally inaugurated the newly-built passenger ropeway service at Girnar in Junagadh district.

Built at the cost of ₹130 crore, the 2.3-km-long Girnar ropeway is believed to be among the longest ropeways in the world to connect a temple.

"Earlier, it used to take 5-7 hours to climb Girnar, but now it will take only 7-8 minutes. More devotees and tourists will visit Girnar. It will give a boost to adventure activities. I am also happy that the project will create more employment opportunities for local youths," the Prime Minister said in his video address.

Passenger ropeway developer, Usha Breco Limited constructed the Girnar ropeway in two years in spite of multiple challenges including tough terrain, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having nine towers, the ropeway comprises 25 cabins, including one glass-floored cabin, each having a capacity to carry eight passengers at a time. The ropeway has the capacity to carry 800 passengers in an hour, and 8,000 in a day. The two-way fare of the ropeway is ₹700, while the fare is ₹350 for children in the age group of 5-10. No fare will be charged for children under the age of five. There is also an option of availing a one-way ticket for ₹400.

This is Usha Breco’s eighth ropeway project after Maa Mansa Devi Shrine and Maa Chandi Devi in Haridwar, Pavagadh and Ambaji in Gujarat, Jatayupura and Malampuzha in Kerala, and Maa Tara Tarini in Odisha. These ropeways ferry more than 7 million people annually. The company is also in the process to develop ropeways at Shimla, Kullu, and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.

After the inauguration, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani accompanied by senior officials and leaders travelled in the ropeway, and offered prayers at the Ambaji temple on Girnar.

Two more projects inaugurated

The Prime Minister also e-inaugurate two other projects in the State. The newly-developed U.N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre in Ahmedabad - making it India's biggest cardiology hospital.

And another is a farmer-oriented scheme - KisanSuryoday Yojana - under which the farmers in the State will now be able to get electricity during day time as well. Earlier farmers were supplied electricity only during night time. The State government has allocated a budget of ₹3,500 crores for installing transmission infrastructure under this scheme by 2023 that will include 234 66-Kilowatt transmission lines, with a total length of 3,490 circuit kilometers (CKM) in addition to 9 new 220 KV substations to cover 1,000 villages in the first phase.