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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Govt puts Mumbai-Pune super train project on the fast track

The project aims to cut down travel time between the two cities to just 23 minutes.

| Mumbai | Published: July 31, 2019 12:35:20 am
Virgin Hyperloop One, Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop, Hyperloop India Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with Virgin Hyperloop One CEO and board member Rob Lloyd in Nevada, US. (Express)

THE STATE government on Tuesday put the ambitious hyperloop project between Mumbai and Pune on the fast track. To speed up acquisition of land for the project, the Cabinet on Tuesday accepted a proposal to grant it the status of “infrastructure project”.

The project aims to cut down travel time between the two cities to just 23 minutes. Having already given a go ahead to use the ‘Swiss challenge’ method to hold the bidding for the Rs 70,000-crore project, the government on Tuesday named a consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies Inc as its original project proponent. Global firms will now be invited to challenge them under the bidding method.

While the entire project involves construction across a length of 117.5 km, sources said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen to perform a bhoomipujan for a 11.8-km test track, being developed in the first phase, before the model code of conduct for the Assembly polls kicks in.

The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority will oversee the implementation of the first phase, which is expected to take about two to three years to complete.

Meanwhile, ahead of the state polls, the Fadnavis government also okayed another proposal to facilitate urban local bodies to raise loans for various infrastructure projects. The Maharashtra Urban Infrastructure Development Company will be provided with a dedicated budget of Rs 50 crore for funding such infrastructure projects.

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