Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday that the state government will consider pursuing Hyperloop, a futuristic transport system, after it is shown to be practicable in other countries. He was speaking to reporters after conducting a projects review meeting with PMC officials.
The earlier BJP-led government had announced that A Hyperloop would be built between Pune and Mumbai which will reduce the travel time between the two cities to 28 mins. When asked about the project, Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said it has not been implemented anywhere in the world yet.
“Let it happen somewhere else. Let it become successful for at least a 10 km distance somewhere abroad,” he said. Asked if the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the state was thinking of scrapping the project, Pawar said he did not say so.
“We do not have the capacity to experiment with Hyperloop. We will concentrate on other modes of transport and in the meantime, if that technology develops more with successful trials abroad, we can think about it,” he said.
The announcement by the Deputy CM has come as a shock to many as the Maharashtra government had only approved the Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World consortium as the “Original Project Proponent” (OPP) for the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project in August last year.
The project was deemed a public infrastructure by the state government and would have been the first hyperloop project in the world. It was expected to generate thousands of jobs and over $36 billion in various socio-economic benefits.
Moreover, it was also clarified by the then BJP Led Maharashtra Govt, that the pilot project of first 5 kilometers of Hyperloop will not put any financial burden on the State Government, as the entire cost will be absorbed by the original project proponents for test corridor.
While announcing the project in August last year, then Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had said, “Maharashtra will create the first hyperloop transportation system in the world and a global hyperloop supply chain starting from Pune. Maharashtra and India are at the forefront of hyperloop infrastructure building now and this is a moment of pride for our people.”