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< prev - next > Energy Mechanical Power KnO 100380_Aerial ropeways (Printable PDF)
Aerial ropeways of Nepal
Practical Action
Gravity ropeway technology was
transferred from Northern India to Nepal
by Practical Action Nepal in
collaboration with the International
Center for Integrated Mountain
Development (ICIMOD). In partnership
with ICIMOD and a private
manufacturer-supplier, Practical Action
Nepal installed a couple of
demonstration ropeways in Marpha and
Tukche VDCs of Mustang district to
facilitate the transportation of apples
from orchards to the road-heads. After a
successful intervention in Mustang,
Practical Action Nepal installed the
Janagaon- Bishaltar Ropeway in
Benighat VDC, the Hadikhola-Chiraudi
Ropeway in Kalleri VDC of Dhading
district, and the Torisawara-Bishaltar
Ropeway in Torisawara VDC of Gorkha
district (with financial support from The
European Union, and UK Trusts and
An initial study showed that the transportation cost of agro-based products decreases by at
least 50% once served by a gravity ropeway system. Such encouraging statistics have villagers
the confidence to supply their products in larger amounts, and to enter competitive city
markets. Access to a transportation system and to market linkages improves their socio-
economic status in terms of income, health, education and community awareness. Promotion
of this technology also helps the local economy by creating employment opportunities and by
supporting local manufacturers and service providers.
The Principle
The gravity ropeway is an inexpensive and simple means of transportation. It operates by
gravitational force without the use of external power. The gravity ropeway consists of two
trolleys which roll on support tracks. These are attached to a control cable in the middle
which moves in a traditional flywheel system. When the loaded trolley at the up-station is
pulled downward by the force of gravity, the other trolley at the bottom-station is pulled up
automatically by means of the control cable. In principal the goods coming downward from
the up-station must to be thrice as
heavy as the up-going load. The sliding
down of the trolley and its speed
depends upon the angle of elevation
made by the cables installed with the
horizontal ground.
A flywheel with bearing and bracket is
used as a brake to control the landing
speed of the trolley at the bottom-
station. Communication between top
and bottom stations is done by tapping
the wire rope. The operator at the top-
station strikes the wire rope with a stick
to send a wave signal through the wire
A typical braking system
Photo: Practical Action / Upendra Shrestha