The Punjab government is exploring the feasibility of connecting major towns in the state with National Capital Region through Hyperloop, a futuristic transport system in which passenger pods zip through vacuum tubes at high speeds.
“The state government Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One to conduct a pre-feasibility economic study for the project,” said Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Investment Promotion.
As per Virgin Hyperloop One’s initial estimates, a hyperloop transportation project along the Amritsar-Ludhiana-Chandigarh Corridor could reduce travel time from five hours by road to less than 30 minutes.
Virgin Hyperloop One is supported by Dubai-based DP World, its largest investor.
The MoU was signed by K Siva Prasad, Principal Secretary (Transport), Punjab, and Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director (Middle East & India), Virgin Hyperloop One, in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and DP World Subcontinent CEO and MD, Rizwan Soomar.
Virgin Hyperloop One is also in discussions with the Haryana government for a separate MoU to evaluate the feasibility of a Hyperloop system that could potentially extend the route from Punjab to the National Capital Region (NCR), said an official spokesperson.
“Punjab is very keen to be the second state in India after Maharashtra to build a Hyperloop system. Specifically, we would like to explore a Hyperloop project through the state of Punjab, connecting with other metropolitan centres in the country. In the future, this project could link beyond Punjab to connect to the NCR,” said Amarinder Singh.
“The pre-feasibility study will be completed within six weeks. It will evaluate several measures such as cost, demand, and socio-economic benefits of the Corridor,” according to Invest Punjab Advisor Moshe Kohli.
“A Hyperloop route in Punjab can be transformative for the state and we look forward to moving ahead on this project, just as we have done in Maharashtra. There is tremendous economic potential in connecting some of Punjab’s biggest cities such as Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Chandigarh, among others in northern India, with a hyperloop infrastructure project,” Dhaliwal said.
Meanwhile, Soomar said that DP World saw the potential for Hyperloop early on and is at the forefront of introducing innovations to leverage the technology for faster movement of cargo.