Piloting of Gravity Ropeway as an environment-Friendly, sustainable and cheap rural transportation option in Bhutan

Posted on: July 1st, 2016

Project Area

The remote villages of Chongzhu (Changju), Tshachhu (Assamsa), Gurung Busti, Nulay Gaon and Drukpa Gaon are located in Norgaygang (Bara) Gewog under Samtse Dzongkhag. Norgaygang Gewog is one of the biggest Gewog under Samtse Dzongkhag and it is further divided into 19 Chiogs or sub-blocks.  There are 510 households with a population of 4695. Like elsewhere in the country, the people practice small-scale mixed subsistence agriculture.

Agriculture is the main occupation and one of the main sources of livelihood for the people in this part of the region. People also cattles and engage in dairy farming. The horses and mules are the main options of transportation unto this day. The ropeway is expected to reduce the transportation burdens, greatly ease the human drudgery and save transportation time. It is also easy to use, cheap and eco friendly means of transportation.

Project Objective and Intended Results

The primary objective is to promote community-based managed gravity ropeway as a sustainable and cheap transportation option to reduce human drudgery and travel time to and from five villages (Chongzhu (Changju), Tshachhu (Assamsa), Gurung Busti, Nulay Gaon and Drukpa Gaon) to the nearest road head.

Other more specific objectives are:

  • Provide training in basic operation, maintenance and service of gravity ropeway.
  • Install and commission a gravity ropeway at strategic locations.
  • Institute a more systematic and acceptable user-fee collection system for sustained operation, maintenance and service.
  • Promote group savings scheme for ensuring continuity and sustainability of gravity ropeway.
  • Encourage farmers to grow market driven agricultural crops and products

Intended Results

The gravity ropeway is expected to benefit a total of 150 households and a overall population of more than 400 in the five vilages of Chongzhu (Changju), Tshachhu (Assamsa), Gurung Busti, Nulay Gaon and Drukpa Gaon under Norgaygang Gewog, Samtse Dzongkhag. The expected benefits are mainly in terms of reducing human drudgery and travel time significantly. It is also easy to use, cheap and eco friendly means of transportation.

The farmers including women and children do not have to carry heavy agricultural products on their backs for several hours to reach the road head enroot market/village. This will help reduce drudgery. Due to better and faster transportation options, it is also expected that farmers will be able to market their agricultural produce. All this will help in enhancing rural income and subsequently their well-being.