Mumbai-Pune Project RevivedMarch 5, 2020
The hyperloop system can be associated with a lot of excitement and passionate discussions that take place every time something new in this area is happening. There are many companies out there doing a very interesting research for this futuristic system but hardly any one of them can cause as much commotion as Virgin Hyperloop One, especially when it comes to their business agreements in Asia.
This Wednesday, on March 4, 2020, Maharashtra Urban Development Minister, Eknath Shinde, disclosed new information about a widely-discussed Mumbai-Pune project. We have been following the story since the very beginning. You can access previous articles here.
For all those who do not want to dive that deep into this topic, the key information is that Virgin Hyperloop One has been planning on developing a hyperloop line in India. This idea was first presented to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, in 2018. The route would connect two major cities – Mumbai and Pune, and the whole track has been designed to be 117.5 kilometres long.
However, with the change of government in Maharashtra, the priorities have changed as well. Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, admitted that his key focus areas are not new technologies but farmer’s issues, social justice, tourism, health and education. Thus, VHO’s plan has been put under review.
This action resulted in a quick response from Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, who decided to pay
Thackeray a visit. During their meeting Branson reassured the Chief Minister that his project would be founded by a private sector and the state would have no financial liability towards it.
Despite all of that, the project was still considered a risk and Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, did not make the situation any better with his statements about hyperloop. He made it very clear that he wants to wait until hyperloop system is built in some other country.
However, Sir Richard Branson did not want to give up on India and came up with a new idea. He proposed establishing a hyperloop line connecting New Delhi and Mumbai which was the most recent news concerning India until now.
Eknath Shinde who is the Urban Development Minister in Maharashtra, told the Legislative Council that the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project is still on the cards. What is more, it is going to be implemented with the use of Swiss Challenge Method.
It means that a party which is interested in some kind of project initiates a proposal for a contract or the bid to make it happen. Then, the government makes details of the project public so that it can attract proposals from other parties. Having received other bids, the original contractor is entitled to choose the best option.
This is good news for VHO group which has been relentless in their pursuit of the hyperloop system in India.