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Brazilian Government Finances Cable Car in Northeast Amid Crisis and Drought

10/02/2015 - 09h33



In this period of crisis and drought, the federal government is supporting the construction of a cable car in the interior of Rio Grande do Norte that would transport tourists and the devout to the image of Santa Rita de Cássia, saint of impossible causes.

Work began a year ago in Santa Cruz, a city with 39,000 inhabitants which is among the 153 municipalities in a state of emergency due to the drought.

Inspired by the Pão de Açúcar cable car, the project was budgeted at R$ 12.6 million (US$ 3.15 million)–R$ 5.1 million (US$ 1.2 million) have already been allotted, and R$ 4.2 million (US$ 1.05 million) are from federal resources. The remaining R$ 7.5 million (US$ 1.8 million) are not yet guaranteed.

Part of the grant was made possible through parliamentary amendments by then-congressman Henrique Alves (PMDB-RN), today the Minister of Tourism, and Senator Garibaldi Alves Filho (PMDB-RN).

Conceptualized by former mayor Tomba Farias (PSB) in 2012, the cable car complements another one of his works, the Alto de Santa Rita de Cássia –a sanctuary where an image 56 meters tall (18 more than Christ the Redeemer in Rio) of the patron saint of the city is exposed.

Prior to the inauguration of the statue, in 2010, Santa Cruz didn't have a tradition of religious tourism. Since then, according to city officials, it has already attracted more than 2 million visitors.

In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism said that it follows legal criteria to support tourism development.

Cable car mentor Tomba Farias defends the project and denies any conflict with the drought, since tourism resources cannot be applied to other areas.

Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ

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Brazilian government finances cable car in Northeast amid crisis and drought
Brazilian government finances cable car in Northeast amid crisis and drought

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