Maharashtra government has granted $10 billion (700 billion Indian rupees) public infrastructure status of the project for its hyperloop plan between Mumbai and Pune. Maharashtra state cabinet made this clear on July 30 to put Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop One project on the fast track. Distance between Mumbai and Pune is about 120 km and it takes 3.5 hours to travel between them by road. The project aims to make this travel time down to 35 minutes by 2026.

There is no complete Hyperloop project in the world until now.  Hyperloop is still in the research stage. But Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra said that India wants to make first fully functional Hyperloop transport system in the world and start a global hyperloop supply chain starting from Pune.

US-based company Virgin Hyperloop one is working on this project. Virgin Hyperloop One is currently working on its Dubai-Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles-Los Vegas projects alongside Mumbai -Pune project. UAE’s DP World (DPW), a global trade leader and a major ports and logistics operator in India will invest $500 million to complete the first phase. The first phase is to be started from Pune and it is 11.8 km long out the complete route which is 117.5 km long. The Maharashtra government will provide the land.

The idea of Hyperloop we first presented by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk in a public white paper of about sixty pages half a decade ago. Hyperloop pods are levitated through magnets and are zipped through a tube raised on pylons. Tube has very low friction as most of the air is sucked out.

Last month, Avishkar Hyperloop — a student team from IIT Madras — met Virgin Hyperloop One Co-founder Josh Geigel who praised India’s effort to be the frontrunner in hyperloop technology.

Harj Dhaliwal, managing director for India and the Middle East, Virgin Hyperloop One, said: “Once commercialized, it will transform the Pune-Mumbai corridor into a mega-economic region moving people and cargo between these two centers in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.”

Each year 75 million people travel across Pune and Mumbai and this figure is expected to increase up to 130 million by 2026. Virgins Hyperloop system is estimated to transfer 200 million people annually across Mumbai and Pune within 35 minutes compared to 3.5 hours by car at present.

This project will create high technological jobs and will provide wider socio-economics benefits of up to $36 billion. It will create new manufacturing opportunities to create new hyperloop components and export to India and other countries.

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