Anything that can bring down the commute time in the given traffic scenario is a boon in the country and especially if it is the financial capital, Mumbai and Pune. Maharastra government recently has expressed its intent to build a Hyperloop better Mumbai-Pune with Virgin Hyperloop One beginning with an operational demonstration track. The hyperloop route aims to link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai in just 25 minutes. Virgin Hyperloop says that the high-capacity passenger cargo hyperloop will support as many as 1.5 crore passengers annually saving over 90 million hours of commute time.
The hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and next-generation logistics if at all this project sees a green light. Earlier in 2017, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) had announced a similar partnership with the state of Andhra Pradesh. The company has spent the last few months working with India's economic development board charing out routes between Vijayawada and Capital city of Amaravati. The project's expected investment value is about $205 million and is likely to take a year to complete post the required approvals.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi along with Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Sir Richard Branson were present during this announcement of making a Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune. Everyday over 1.3 lakh vehicles travel between these to cities. Pune is the home ground for a number of IT and automobile companies and along with rising investments the city has also seen a drastic increase in city's traffic and pollution.
Kiran Gitte, CEO, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) is managing this one of its kind Hyperloop Project and believes that that Hyperloop is the best technology available to reduce the traffic and pollution between Mumbai and Pune. This is one of the busiest highways in the country. "In the last two to three months, we've had a very exciting pre-feasibility study, and I think the Mumbai-Pune region will be the first in the country which will see this hyperloop implemented. I think the geography demands it and the demography also demands it. The technology solution provided with hyperloop will solve many of the problems that we have on our hands" he added.
Once this Hyperloop is implemented, the Pune-Mumbai route could result in ₹350,000 crores in socio-economic benefits in next 30 years, according to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One. This will also result in the reduction of road accidents, reducing road fatalities. The 100% electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.
To start the Hyperloop operations, Virgin Hyperloop one and PMRDA will begin a six-mon in-depth feasibility study to analyze and define the route alignment including cost and funding, environmental impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route and the regulatory framework required.
The most exciting part of this Hyoerloop project is that it comes with a promise to actually build a test track to demonstrate the workings and operations of Hyperloop. The fact that PM Modi himself was present at the occasion despite his Canadian counterpart visiting India, proves his personal involvement in this project. However, very often we have seen no implementation of such plans taking place after spending a lot of money researching and talking about it.
Richard Branson is known for his vision and we hope that his and Maharastra’s vision of seeing a working model of hyper loop between Mumbai and Pune is developed soon, which will be a big boon for the public and will ease the traffic conditions in the respective cites.