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Fresh tenders for zoo ropeway

Box to open on August 21

File picture of visitors enjoying a ropeway ride in Nandankanan

Bhubaneswar, July 22: Nandankanan authorities today invited fresh tenders for operating the defunct ropeway in the zoological park as only one bidder had responded to their earlier tenders.

The authorities are hoping to get at least two bidders this time. The 620-metre ropeway above the Kanjia lake connecting the zoological park with the botanical garden on the other side has been lying defunct since February 2011. The zoo authorities had started the process of floating tenders for construction and operation of the ropeway in June. They had then said the name of the bid winner would be clear by July 16.

However, sources said that at the end of the tender process, it was found that only one firm had applied for undertaking the construction and maintenance work of the bi-cable gondola passenger ropeway system.

"As only one firm had taken part in the tender process, we were forced to float the new tender to get at least two companies to bid for the job. Our priority is transparency and accountability. If we do not get more than one bidder, we will explore other options. But for that, we have to wait till August 21 when the new tender papers will be opened," said deputy director of the zoological park Jayant Das.

An official said the new tender papers would be sold from July 27 and continue till August 20. The very next day the tender papers would be opened. The authorities said the bid winner would undertake the installation and construction of the ropeway and maintain it for 20 years. The firm would have to make the ropeway operational within three months of getting the work order.

Tourists visiting Nandankanan have been missing the ropeway that used to give them a panoramic view of the park from above the Kanjia lake. Visitors were getting the chance to see the landscape and the animals in the zoo from this ropeway while going from the zoological park to the botanical garden and return back.

In another development, the zoo authorities said the toy train, another tourist attraction that has been lying defunct for over one year, was going to be made operational once again.

The official said Rites Limited, a Central enterprise that acts as a consultant in the field of transport, infrastructure and related technologies, had visited the park last month. "We are waiting for their estimation report following which we will go for the tender process," said a senior official.

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