The Safety Concerns and Necessity of Pakistan’s Homemade Cable Car System

Pakistan’s homemade cable car system, while born out of necessity in remote mountainous regions with little infrastructure, poses significant safety concerns. The recent incident of seven people being left stranded in a cable car hanging above a ravine highlights the risks associated with these makeshift cable cars.

The cable cars are often constructed using scrap metal and ropes, and are built by local communities who lack alternative means of transportation. They serve as a vital mode of transport, allowing people to cross rivers and shorten travel distances between valleys in the mountains. In Allai, where the recent incident occurred, there is no road infrastructure or basic facilities, making the cable car an attractive option for residents.

However, the use of homemade cable cars raises concerns about safety. These makeshift structures are not subject to regular inspections and often lack proper maintenance. While the cable car in question was reportedly checked monthly, independent verification is lacking. The incident in Murree, Punjab, in 2017, where an illegal cable car crashed and resulted in the death of 11 passengers, demonstrates the potential dangers associated with these makeshift systems.

The affordability of these cable cars is another factor driving their popularity. They cost significantly less than road travel, making them a cost-effective choice for residents in remote areas. However, the low fare does not justify compromising safety.

In response to the recent incident, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister has ordered safety inspections of all private chairlifts. This is a crucial step to ensure the safety of passengers using these makeshift cable cars. It is essential to prioritize regular inspections, maintenance, and adherence to safety standards to prevent future accidents.

However, improving infrastructure in these mountainous regions is equally important. Investments must be made to develop road networks and basic facilities, reducing the reliance on homemade cable cars. While they may be a temporary solution, long-term infrastructure development is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.

In conclusion, Pakistan’s homemade cable car system is a result of necessity in areas lacking infrastructure. While they provide an affordable mode of transport, safety concerns are significant. The recent incident calls for increased inspections, maintenance, and adherence to safety standards. However, long-term investments in infrastructure development are necessary to reduce reliance on makeshift cable cars and ensure the safety of the residents in these remote mountainous regions.