Virgin Hyperloop One Mumbai-Pune Line UpdateDecember 13, 2019
Recently, it has been announced that the change of the government in an Indian state Maharashtra may have some serious consequences for previously approved high-tech projects (for more details on this, see Virgin Hyperloop One’s project in danger).
As it turns out, the news reached Sir Richard Branson – Virgin Group founder – as he decided to have a conversation with Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra himself. On Wednesday, commenting on his decision to pay Thackeray a visit, Branson said:
“It is just a courtesy call (with Thackeray) (…) to ensure that any misunderstandings regarding the project are cleared. We just need to see whether the new government is as keen as the old government.”
The meeting took place last Thursday (12 December 2019) at Matoshree, the five decades-old residence of the Thackeray family.
Branson wanted to reassure the Chief Minister that his project would be founded by a private sector and the state would have no financial liability towards it. Maharashtra would only have to provide the land that is needed to build and test the route. Moreover, this hyperloop line would be beneficial to the entire state. It could create countless investment and employment opportunities. To support those claims, Virgin Hyperloop One team even prepared a presentation for Thackeray on their plans for Pune-Mumbai project.
Although the meeting went well, Thackeray told Branson that the decision will be taken after careful study of the project. So it seems that nothing is final yet but Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director overseeing all customer activity and projects for Virgin Hyperloop One in the Middle East and India, stays optimistic:
“We are encouraged by today’s meeting and look forward to working with the State of Maharashtra in progressing the hyperloop project.”