Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake greets Outdoor Engineering AG President Oswald Graber at the signing ceremony
- Cable car project from Nanu Oya to Gregory Lake via Single Tree Mountain aims to boost tourism, make Nuwara Eliya key tourist hotspot
- Project by Austrian firm with construction to start in two months
- First phase to see 43 cars operational from next year
By Charumini de Silva
The Government this week signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan unit of Austrian firm Outdoor Engineering Lanka Ltd. to initiate the country’s first-ever cable car project in Nuwara Eliya with an investment of over Rs. 56 billion (¤ 28.8 million).
With the launch of the cable car project, the Government aims to promote Nuwara Eliya as a key tourist hotspot in the country for both foreign and local visitors.
The tripartite agreement was signed by Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake, Outdoor Engineering AG President Oswald Graber and Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council Mayor Chandana Lal Karunaratne on 13 October in Nuwara Eliya.
The cable car system will be built on 21 towers connecting the Nanu Oya train station, Nuwara Eliya Race Course and Single Tree Mountain.
“This cable car project from Nanu Oya to Single Tree will revolutionise the tourist sector in Sri Lanka and add value to Nuwara Eliya as one of the premier tourist destinations in our country,” Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake told the Daily FT.
The project will consist of a total of 86 cars which can carry 10 passengers each, while in the first phase 43 cars will be made operational. He also said that the project would commence within the next two months and the first phase of it would be operational in a year’s time.
When asked what made the Government select Nuwara Eliya in particular, Dissanayake said the decision was made after thorough consideration was given to its natural beauty and elevated connection points that could provide a memorable experience as well as a bird’s-eye view to both local and foreign travellers.
The Government Information Department said Outdoor Engineering Lanka Ltd. and its foreign partner Dopelme Cable Car Company submitted a proposal to start a cable car project from Nanu Oya to Gregory Lake through Single Tree Mountain. The Cabinet granted approval for the cable car project in July this year after Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake submitted a proposal to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement this as a Board of Investment (BOI) project.
Following Cabinet approval, the Minister said that they sought approval from all relevant line ministries and agencies including the Tourism Development and Wildlife Ministry, Central Environmental Authority, Civil Aviation Authority and Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council.