MUMBAI: The Virgin Group signed an “intent agreement” with Maharashtra government on Sunday to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the infrastructure development achieved by Maharashtra in past three years while inaugurating the Magnetic Maharashtra global Investor’s summit here at the MMRDA Ground at Bandra-Kurla Complex.
The hyperloop, a fully electrical system with a capacity to travel at a speed of 1,000 km per hour, aims to reduce the travel time between the two mega cities to 25 minutes from the three hours at present.
“We have signed an agreement with Maharashtra to build a Virgin Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune, beginning with an operational demonstration track in the region,” Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson said after the foundation stone for the first hyperloop route that would link Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Pune-Mumbai route could result in $55 billion in socio-economic benefits, time savings, accident reduction and operational cost savings, over 30 years of operation, Branson added.
The loop is expected to ferry 150 million people every year after completion of the project for which the timeline and the cost is yet to be announced.
Modi, who inaugurated the global summit, praised the “Maximum City” of Mumbai saying its newly developing infrastructure is linked not just to its “Maximum Aspirations” but to the aspirations of the entire middle class of the country.
Putting across several initiatives that his government has taken on the policy intervention and governance level, the Prime Minister spoke of India entering the 5 trillion dollar economy soon and about the state of Maharashtra that has started talking about entering the trillion dollar economy club.
“When India joined the trillion dollar club a few years ago, it made headlines. But, soon after that the enthusiasm was lost as the headlines started talking about the scams,” he said and added that his government has worked hard to change the scenario and now it looks obvious that India will be a $5 trillion economy by 2025. We are moving in a direction where the state is policy driven and government is performance driven,” he said.
Amid laudatory statements, Mahindra group head Anand Mahindra did some plainspeak: “If Mumbai, the ‘crown jewel’, continues to groan under its weight, it will drive away investors.
Friction-less tech makes it possible
Hyperloop is a futuristic mode of transport-ation. It comprises a system of sealed tubes through which a pod may travel free of air friction at very high speed