Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday, 17 January, that the state government will consider pursuing Hyperloop, a futuristic transport system, after it is shown to be practicable in other countries.
He was speaking to reporters after conducting a review meeting with officials in Pune.
The earlier BJP-led government had announced that a Hyperloop would be built between Pune and Mumbai which will reduce the travel time between the two cities drastically.
When asked about the project, Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said it has not been implemented anywhere in the world yet.
"“Let it happen somewhere else. Let it become successful for at least a 10 km distance somewhere abroad.”" - Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister, Maharashtra
Asked if the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the state was thinking of scrapping the project, Pawar said that he did not say so.
“We do not have the capacity to experiment with Hyperloop. We will concentrate on other modes of transport and in the meantime, if that technology develops more with successful trials abroad, we can think about it,” he said.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk mentioned the Hyperloop concept in 2012. It contemplates a system of sealed tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance at great speeds.
Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One had stunned all by announcing the project when Devendra Fadnavis was the state's chief minister and had promised to get the project going by 2020.
The Fadnavis government had accorded infrastructure status to the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project that seeks to reduce the travel time between the two cities to just 23 minutes.
The Hyperloop project will link central Pune with Mumbai in under 35 minutes, as opposed to the current over 3.5-hour journey by road. There are approximately 75 million passenger journeys between Mumbai and Pune annually and Virgin Hyperloop One's system will be supporting as many as 200 million passengers annually.
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