Some three firms have shown interest in constructing cable cars at Pathivara and Swargadwari, according to the Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
"We have received three expressions of interest for the two cable car projects," said project chief Prakash Raghubanshi.
"Lama Construction, United Builders and Engineers, and Shahiba International; Laxmi Intercontinental with technical assistance of France-based Pomagalsky SAS; and CM/CRC developers have shown interest in constructing the cable cars at Pathivara in Taplejung, and Swargadwari in Pyuthan that attract thousands of pilgrims from within the country and from abroad," he said, adding that the ministry had sought an expression of interest on February 7 from domestic and international developers or joint ventures for both the projects. "We will shortlist the firms and ask them to submit their proposals with technical and financial experience before the final selection for the projects."
"Once selected, they will prepare a detailed project report that will provide a clear picture of the costs involved," he added.
According to a pre-feasibility study of the government, the proposed three-km cable car from Mathilo Phedi to Pathivara is expected to cost around Rs 700 million besides land acquisition costs, whereas the proposed 2.5-km cable car from Mathilo Bhingii to Swargadwari is estimated to cost Rs 600 million besides land acquisition costs. "But the detailed report of the selected party will project the actual cost," he added.
"After they are awarded the concession letter they will develop and manage two cable car projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach," said Raghubanshi.
"The government has been, however, planning to develop both the projects under the Build-Own and-Operate model under the Private Financing on Build and Operation of Infrastructure Act 2063 and Private Financing on Build and Operation of infrastructure Regulation 2064 that allow hand over of a project to the private sector for at least 30 years on lease," he added.Though both the projects were listed in the government's Immediate Action Plan for Governance and Economic Reform 2012, progress has been slow.