Srinagar: The Dogra rulers had better ideas to keep two capitals of the state connected throughout the year. A rare historic document of 1912 preserved by the Department of Archives and Museums shows that maharaja Partap Singh and Forbes and Forbes, a British Company operating from Karachi, had signed an agreement for a 290-km ropeway between Srinagar and Jammu.
As per the agreement, the ropeway was to be completed in four years. The agreement gave the company just one year to undertake and complete the survey in Shivalik and Pir Panjal mountain ranges.
The maharaja had reserved the right to cancel the agreement in case the company failed to execute the project within the stipulated time.
The agreement made it mandatory for the Forbes and Forbes to take care of environment issues. While surveying the forests, the company was supposed to pay for the cost of trees felled during the project.
As per the agreement, the Maharaja had to pay £100,000 as the state’s share for the project while the company had to bear the rest of the cost.
The documents, which were duly signed by the maharaja and representatives of the company disclosed that the fare for travelling from Jammu to Srinagar was also fixed. Three types of travelling categories were proposed: Rs 32 was fixed for first class, Rs 16 for second and Rs 5 for third class.
A provision for 25 per cent concession to government officials was also made in the agreement and there
was another plan for a ropeway between Srinagar and Baramulla.
However, the project was not okayed by the British for political reasons.
Partap Singh succeeded Ranbir Singh and ruled the state from 1885 to 1925. He conceived the ropeway project in 1910 and wanted to gift the dream project to the people of the state.