Cable car to resume operations at Palani hills from Feb 24

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Palani, Tamil Nadu, Feb 20 (UNI) After being temporarily suspended for nearly six months, the famous cable car system would again commence operation at the historic Sri Dhandayuthapani swamy temple, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga, from February 24.

A senior official of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department told UNI that a decision has been taken to resume the operations after conducting various safety tests on the cable car system.

Stating that the authorities were satisfied with the system, he said trial runs were conducted by loading some articles weighing 350 kg to ensure the capability of the cable cars and their functioning for the past several days of trials.

On the suggestions made by technical experts, the distance between the towers at the top and bottom level had been reduced to ensure more safety besides decreasing the gap between four cabins to 2.5 metres. The recommendations of the technical committee, formed by Tamil Nadu government to probe last year's tragedy, have been fully implemented, he informed.

The system is the first of its kind in the vicinity of a temple in the state.

Hundreds of pilgrims from various parts of the country visit Palani hills every day. They need to take a flight of 693 steps, winch system (three winches) or the cable car system to reach the hilltop temple. While the winch system needs eight minutes to reach the top of the hill from the base station, the rope car takes just 2.45 minutes to cover the distance of 323 metres over the green covered precipices.

The cable car system, connecting the foot of Palani hill to the Arulmighu Dhandayuthaspani temple at the hilltop, was commissioned by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on November 4, 2004 at a cost of Rs 4 crore.

The system was temporarily suspended from August 26 last year after a major tragedy in which four people, including three of a family were killed and two seriously injured when a cabin of the rope car while taking pilgrims to the hill shrine lost hold with the cable and collided with another cabin.

UNI GSM SW HS1033

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