Kalpetta: Merely two years from now, all it will take is 18 minutes to cover the three kilometer distance cutting across the Wayanad hairpin bends. The April 15 Investors Meet at Dubai will be a trailblazer for the project and more investor meets for the project implementation will soon take place at Kochi.

The ' Wayanad Ropeway' will be implemented to take tourists and locals alike high onto the Western Ghats on a cable car system spanning from Lakkidi to Adivaram. The cable car system will run atop 10-15 high pillars and cost around Rs. 50 crores. At the launching stage it is expected to have 80 cabins that will together accommodate around 480 passengers.

The project is being spearheaded by the Wayanad Chamber of Commerce. The Western Ghats Development Company, that has been specially formed for this purpose will take the project ahead. The preliminary permissions have already been sanctioned for this project and the local administration must submit a detailed project report to the centre for further clearances.

The Kozhikode and Wayanad DTPC and Dubai Chamber of Commerce are also cooperating in the project according to the WCC President Johny Patani. The project has successfully passed the discussion stages with the Chief Minister, Tourism Minister, Tourism Director, Kozhikode Collector and the Kalpetta and Thiruvambadi MLAs.

Several investors have shown interest in this project and Vythiri resort CMD N K Muhammed has promised an acre of free land for the project, providing landing space at Lakkidi near Oriental College. The project will need another acre of land at Adivaram for its second landing. It is also necessary to build up good connecting infrastructure with regular bus services from Adivaram to Kozhikode and Lakkidi to Bathery to tap into the full potential of the project.

The investors also claim that the project has minimal environmental impact and will thus be cleared without any hiccups. There are also plans to beautify the hairpin bends by planting flowering trees all along the slope.