Sudhir Sharma visits Belarus to discuss skyway construction

Urban Development Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sudhir Sharma (right) and EcoTechnoPark news presenter Mikhail Kirichenko during a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on 27 April 2017.

Urban Development Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sudhir Sharma (right) and EcoTechnoPark news presenter Mikhail Kirichenko during a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on 27 April 2017. EcoTechnoPark

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 4 May 2017

Urban Development Minister of Himachal Pradesh Mr Sudhir Sharma led a delegation of the Dharamshala city municipality at a meeting with representatives of a skyway infrastructure company at the end of April.

EcoTechnoPark hosted the delegation at their headquarters in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, according to a press release from the company.

The delegation also included Ms Dorothea Jeger, CEO of the Swiss consulting company Castor Consulting AG.

This visit was part of long-running work on preparing the construction of SkyWay transport/infrastructure complexes in India.

The existing roads connecting lower Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj are narrow and wind through mountains, with no way to widen them to accommodate the increased tourist traffic. A 12-km-long skyway has been proposed by the Dharamshala municipal corporation as an environmentally-friendly way to ease traffic congestion and increase travel safety for people travelling between the towns.

Since 1959 Dharamshala been the home of Tibetan exiles and their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, becoming a major tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. Mountain ranges and other natural attractions, and more recently, the construction of an international cricket stadium, were other tourist destinations.

SkyWay is currently working in India in the State of Jharkhand where a trilateral investment agreement has been signed, and in the city of Dharamshala where the possibility of building a transport network in the framework of the Government “Smart Cities” programme is under consideration. Dharamshala was named the first “Smart City” of Himachal Pradesh in August 2016.

The guests were able to see first-hand how EcoTechnoPark territory successfully expands according to the ever-growing needs of demonstration sites. They have also discussed testing of the urban transportation system, which is part of preparation for SkyWay participation in the Smart Cities India exhibition from 10–12 May.

The elevated route technology has the name “string transport”. This name is not because the cars move along a string, but rather for the reinforced pre-stressed “strings” providing additional strength for a track of two rails arranged on a steel beam which is also equipped with a railhead.

The first talks on cooperation between Anatoly Yunitskiy, General designer of SkyWayTechnologies, and Rajwinder Singh, representative of the Indian community in Switzerland, were held in 2016. During his visit to the country, President of SkyWayCompany Anatoly Yunitskiy promised to create an effective and relatively economical type of high-speed passenger service with unibuses suspended on strings.

This would be the first skyway project in Himachal Pradesh. SkyWayCompany will conduct a survey of Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj, with a report expected to be completed by February. Cost of the project would be worked out, after which work on the skyway would begin.

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