MAHARASHTRA (Metro Rail News): The State government is likely to float a work order for the country’s first hyperloop project in the first week of September. Senior officials said the decision was taken by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, who was the one who had cleared the final hurdles to the 11.4-km-long corridor along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway between Gahunje and Ozarde.
“We now have the nod to issue the work orders for the project. The Chief Secretary has asked us to clear the request for proposal (RFP) by the end of the month and then issue a work order by September first week,” said a senior official of the Chief Minister’s Office.
Once the work order is issued, the government does not expect the work to go beyond 2021 as it does not involve any acquisition of land. “We don’t have to acquire any land for this project since the alignment moves next to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway,” said the official.
The State Cabinet had last month appointed the consortium of DP World and Hyperloop Technologies as its original project proponent. The Cabinet also gave the corridor the status of a public infrastructure project, paving the way for its funding. The project will reduce the 150-km journey between Mumbai and Pune to just 30 minutes. The project involves a direct foreign investment of ₹70,000 crore.
The hyperloop will be constructed on columns with its specially designed vehicles, which will be accelerated gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The vehicles would float above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at airline speeds for long distances owing to an ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
The project will assist the government to harness an integrated supply chain ecosystem, which would be used to introduce the technology to the region with India as a base.
The State government has already committed itself to be a part of the select consortium ecosystem and investors who are willing to harness the Virgin Hyperloop One technology, said the senior official. Being a part of the chain of public and private partners for the technology, the project will also create jobs and a manufacturing base for the investing partners.
The official said, “The RFP for the project will be floated at the end of this month. The idea is to harness this technology and be its provider to the rest of the region. Much like what Japan has done with the Shinkansen bullet trains.”