After months of delays, the launch of Myanmar’s first-ever cable car has been set for the second or third week of December at the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda in Mon State, officials involved in the project have announced.
“Tests related to weight and brakes have been completed. Everything is almost completed,” the project’s construction director Saw Shwe Aung told Eleven.
The US$20 million project is being implemented by Asia Sky Company – a joint venture between Myanmar-based Yadanar Shwe Sin Kyi and South Korea-based Sky International. It was originally scheduled to be open before the Thadingyut Festival in October, but bad weather and a shortage of machinery have delayed the project.
Once completed, the system will include 43 cable cars that will each be able to shuttle eight passengers a total of 955 meters from the town of Yathetaung to the entrance of the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. The pagoda is situated atop a large gilded boulder, known as the Golden Rock among visitors. The trip is expected to take between eight and 15 minutes.
“There are four power plants connected to the project for uninterrupted power supply for the cable cars. There are also rescue and medical teams in case of any emergency,” the project’s safety and maintenance officer Naung Ye Aung told Eleven.
Cable car rides will cost K3,000 for Myanmar citizens and US$5 for foreigners.
“Tickets will include travel insurance, as we’re working with the International Kanbawza Insurance Company. We also hired two Korean technicians for the project. Maintenance will be carried out on a daily basis,” Naung Ye Aung added.
The Myanmar Investment Commission signed onto a 50-year build-operate-transfer agreement with Asia Sky for the cable car project in January 2015.