Here is the good news for all the travellers. Soon, people can reach Elephanta Caves in Gharapuri Island from Mumbai in just 14 minutes. The Central government’s standing finance committee has cleared the proposal for an 8-km Mumbai-Elephanta ropeway last week.
According to Mumbai Mirror, the 8-km Mumbai-Elephanta ropeway is first of its kind in the country. The proposal will allow the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPt) to finally take up the project to boost tourism. Currently, Gateway of India is the only access to the Elephanta Caves and takes around an hour to reach. But this project will surely allow commuters to reach early. Work is expected to start the month after and wind up by October 2022.
At present, ferries from the Gateway of India provide the only access to the UNESCO world heritage site. But a oneway ride takes close to an hour and inclement weather can bring operations to a halt.
The MBPT plans to get all the statutory clearances by August 2019 and is expected to start the work a month after that. The MBPT has planned to complete the project by 2022 and will undertake a project in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. While talking to the Mumbai Mirror, MBPT official said, “Initially, the plan was to start the 30-seater cable cars from Sewri, but the landing terminal will be shifted a little over a km away to Haji Bunder to avoid disturbing the migratory flamingos and the Mumbai-Trans Harbour Link.”
Every year more than 10 lakh people visit the tourist attraction. The island was connected to the electric grid in February this year, 70 years after power lines were reportedly torn down at the end of British rule. Besides the temples, the island’s key attraction is the two-day Elephanta Cultural Festival, which has been organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation every February for nearly 30 years.