Panel rejects controversial cable car on Mt. Seorak
Published : Dec 28, 2016 - 20:40
Updated : Dec 28, 2016 - 20:40
A government panel on Wednesday rejected a proposal to set up a cable car on a popular mountain range near the country's eastern coast, a plan that has been criticized for its potential harm to the regional environment, government officials said.

The project calls for a 3.5-kilometer-long cable car system to be built in the southern region of Mount Seorak in Yangyang County, some 215 kilometers east of Seoul, providing a means of convenient transportation all the way up to the peak of the Osaek area hiking course.

According to the officials, the panel under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has assessed that the project is feared to do harm to cultural assets and the habitat of the region.

The panel will review the plan again if the county proposes a revised version.

The cable car project has been a controversial issue among environmentalists here, who have argued that the mountain's natural environment must be preserved.

The county government had submitted its cable car construction plans in 2012 and in 2013, but was rejected both times due to issues that the structure's design could pose a threat to the habitat of some of the wildlife in the area.

Advocates, on the other hand, say that the cable car will help to boost tourism and thereby add to the economic development of the region, especially ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, located just south of the county. (Yonhap)