MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): On Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday told British billionaire Richard Branson that he would study the Mumbai-Pune ultrafast Hyperloop transport project and take further decisions.
Branson met Thackeray here to clear “misunderstandings” and gauge the new administration’s interest in the USD 10 billion projects, which promises to cut the travel time between Mumbai and Pune to less than half an hour.
The meeting took place at ‘Matoshree’, the Thackeray family residence in suburban Bandra.
A senior government official told that Branson, promoter of Virgin Group, sought the chief minister’s cooperation for the project.
“The chief minister told Branson that he would study the project and make a decision,” the official added. The Original Project Proponent (OPP) agreement of the project is ready, the official said.
At an event here on Wednesday, Branson had said the entire cost of the project will be borne by the private sector and it will not depend on any funding from the state.
“We just need to see whether the new government is so keen as the old government (on the project),” he had added. In July, the then state cabinet, headed by Devendra Fadnavis, had accorded the status of ‘infrastructure’ to the project.
It had also approved the formation of a consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies as “proponents” of the project.
Hyperloop train, the government had said then, will run from BKCin Mumbai to Wakadin Pune, covering a distance of 117.5 km in just 23 minutes. Ordinary trains take over three hours for traveling between the two cities.
Hyperloop is the name given to a technology originally conceived by Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk, wherein a vacuum is used to transport ‘pods’ carrying people. The technology is yet to be commercially launched.