With Fadnavis back as deputy CM, Pune-Mumbai hyperloop may be back on track

Updated on Aug 06, 2022 12:38 AM IST
The hyperloop project will connect the cities of Mumbai and Pune where the distance between the two will be covered in just 23 minutes
Devendra Fadnavis has always been interested in the project and had held various meetings when he was the chief minister of the state. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Devendra Fadnavis has always been interested in the project and had held various meetings when he was the chief minister of the state. (HT FILE PHOTO)
ByAbhay Khairnar

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power and Devendra Fadnavis becoming the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, there are chances of the hyperloop project – which has been gathering dust for the last three years – getting a push. The hyperloop project will connect the cities of Mumbai and Pune where the distance between the two will be covered in just 23 minutes.

Vivek Kharwadkar, project in-charge, PMRDA, said, “Although the project got approval in 2019, we had made progress. The PMRDA had put together the development plan for the Pune metropolitan region. In the development plan, we had marked the alignment for the hyperloop and marked the land required to be reserved. The PMRDA had even appointed an agency consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies Inc.”

“The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project is a proposed state-of-the-art transport project connecting the two metropolitan cities of Pune and Mumbai with hyperloop technology, reducing travel time between Pune and Mumbai to approximately 30 minutes. Hyperloop is based on the concept of specially designed passenger pods, travelling rapidly through a partial vacuum environment through sealed tubes. This technology operates on electric propulsion and magnetic levitation. As the project is based on newer technology, it is proposed to be developed by the Swiss challenge method in accordance with the Maharashtra Infrastructure Development Enabling Authority Act, 2018, to assess the technical and financial feasibility,” Kharwadkar said.

It was in July 2019 that the Maharashtra government gave its nod for erecting the 11.80 km-long test track. The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) was appointed as an executing authority. But the project had been gathering dust ever since as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and mainly Pune district guardian minister Ajit Pawar were not in favour. As such, no major steps were taken for the last two-and-a-half years.

Whereas Fadnavis has always been interested in this project and had held various meetings back when he was the chief minister of the state. He had even visited the US to take a test ride of a hyperloop project there. With Fadnavis back as deputy chief minister, the administration is hoping that the project will once again get a push.

Hyperloop project highlights

- It is proposed that the project will be implemented for a distance of 117.50 km between Mumbai and Pune (Wakad to Kurla BKC).

- There are two phases of implementation where the first phase of 11.80 km has been proposed as a pilot project in the Pune metropolitan area while the rest of the project (Wakad to Kurla BKC) will be implemented during the second phase.

- The pilot project will be implemented in three years while the rest of the project will be completed in eight years.

- The proposed speed of the hyperloop project is 496 kmph, and it will enable the distance from Pune to Mumbai to be covered in half-an-hour.

- Apart from the costs of land acquisition, all the costs of implementing the project will be borne by private players. The government will bear the costs of land acquisition.

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