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Sholingur rope car trial today, but service for devotees to take time

The trial of the much delayed rope car service to Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple atop the 750-foot hill will be held on Thursday in the presence of Handlooms Minister R Gandhi and Ranipet Collector Baskara Pandian.

Sholingur rope car trial today, but service for devotees to take time
The gondalas of rope car service kept ready for trial run at Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple in Sholingur

However, officials did not give any date as to when the rope car service for devotees will start as amenities for visitors, including the waiting hall, are yet to be completed.

The facility has had a chequered career – with even suggestions of the service being jinxed - right from the time efforts were made by the then Arakkonam MP N Gopal more than 22 years ago. His suggestion for a road to the hill top resulted in an agreement with the HR&CE Department and measures were initiated to cover 40 metres initially.

Work did not start due to various reasons till 2002 when the then Sholingur MLA R Vilvanathan successfully got Rs 3 crore from the then CM Jayalalithaa for the project. But, before the work could be completed the AIADMK lost power in 2006. Then during the tail end of the DMK regime in 2011, Sholingur’s DMK MLA Arul Anbarasu got the then CM M Karunanidhi to sanction Rs 6 crore. Again before the work started, the DMK government was removed after the bhoomi pooja was performed.

Then in 2017, Sholingur AIADMK MLA NG Parthiban promised all help after the government sanctioned Rs 9.30 crore for the project. Soon after, he was disqualified for switching allegiance to the AMMK. Then despite a 2018 deadline, the work was again suspended for various reasons. Though officials stated in October 2021 trials will be conducted by the end of that month it did not happen.

District officials said only after trial runs are completed a definite date for starting the facility for devotees will be decided. Officials are now keeping their fingers crossed hoping that at least now the project will reach completion successfully.

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