MAHARASHTRA (Metro Rail News): It has emerged that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government bringing together the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress may be all set to scrap the plan that was to be implemented by Virgin Hyperloop One. Now, the project has been placed under review.
They also clearly stated that they will be scrapping the project till the time such experimentation comes into reality. Meanwhile, on a slightly more cautious note, Shiv Sena leaders stated that any final decision in the matter will only be made after a review.
Responding to the development, BJP leaders called the move unfortunate, declaring that ‘no development will take place’ if such decisions continue. It was in 2017 that the previous BJP government, through the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US company Virgin Hyperloop One.
The latter was going to conduct a preliminary study to identify potential routes and analyze the high-level economic impact and technical viability of hyperloop transportation solutions in India. According to planners, the project would make it possible to travel between Mumbai and Pune in just 14 minutes. In June 2018, then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also visited the hyperloop test site in the US.
The first phase of the project was to be 11.8 km long and cost Rs 3,550 crore the second phase would then cost over Rs 57,000 crore. It was being touted that work on the project (experimental) would begin in 2020.
However, within days of the MVA government coming to power, the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop has come under scrutiny. This is one of the numerous announcements over the last week, scrapping or putting various projects for review, including the controversial Metro car shed at Aarey Colony in Mumbai, the Samruddhi Mahamarg (Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway), Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train, and other such major infrastructure initiatives that would require a huge investment.
The government need not be wasting money on experiments that we don’t know will become a reality. Hence, we have decided that this should be reviewed and scrapped.” According to BJP leaders, this is an “unfortunate” move. BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye told Mirror, “This was a futuristic experiment that our government was trying to do.
It is unfortunate if the ruling party now feels that it is a waste of money. Citizens of Pune and Mumbai will miss out on an interesting and important project if such a decision is taken.” However, there is no final word on it just yet. Shiv Sena leaders have stated that a decision will be taken post a study of the project. Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe, who is deputy chairman of the Legislative Council, said, “CM Uddhav Thackeray is reviewing the project at present. Based on the report that he receives, he will make a decision.