Govt approves ₹266 cr skywalk, tourist complex at Malshej Ghat

Mumbai: The state government has given its nod to build a 115-metre long ‘O’ shaped glass skywalk as part of a tourist complex in Malshej Ghat, a popular tourist spot in the Sahyadri mountains in Thane district. The skywalk, spread over 4.96 hectares and to be built in partnership with a private firm, will offer a picturesque view of hills, said officials associated with the project.

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Deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar cleared the project worth 266 crore during a meeting earlier this week. The government expects global companies to participate in the project and the tender is expected to be floated shortly.

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“We want to develop the area around the skywalk as an integrated tourism hub. The detailed project report has been finalised and the tender will be floated within the next few weeks,” said an official from the finance department.

The skywalk has been proposed by studying two skywalks in China, one in Canda and a skybridge in Malaysia. It is expected to be ready in two years from the date of commissioning, with the state government bearing 25% of the project cost, and the remaining being raised by the bidder, who will also shoulder the responsibility of operations.

The skywalk will have a museum, coffee shop, waiting lounge and escalators. The government has proposed other facilities such as a helipad, hot air balloon, zip line, amphitheatre, gazebos, open air viewpoints and a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to boost the area’s tourism potential.

“Since the skywalk cannot retain tourists more than 30 minutes, other forms of tourism activities will be crucial to popularise the project. Therefore, we have proposed to tap the potential of waterfalls, sky dome, 6D shows, art and exhibition galleries, selfie point, bungee jumping and para gliding. We expect ancillary tourism facilities like village-lake-cave tourism, camping and fishing to come up in the area in due course,” said an official from the tourism department.

During the meeting earlier this week, Ajit Pawar asked authorities to widen the scope of the project by adding boating facilities at a nearby dam and accommodation facilities at Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation resorts at Malshej.

“It is going to be the largest such skywalk in the world and the state government has acquired 10 hectares of forest land for it,” said local MLA Kisan Kathore.

Malshej Ghat is located around 150 km from Mumbai and 130 km from Pune. It is popular among tourists and trekkers, especially during the monsoon when vertical cloud bursts are common.


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