The Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project which aims to shorten the journey between the two cities to a mere 23 minutes.
The Cabinet meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who said the project would be carried out in two phases and completed in six-eight years.
The project, first of its kind in the world, is being carried out by the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) and is said to have a total investment of Rs 70,000 crore. Officials said the tender for the project’s first phase may be floated by the middle of next month. “The project will complete the 117.5 km journey from Mumbai (BKC) to Pune (Wakad) in 23 minutes at a speed of 496 km per hour. The first phase of the project will be treated as a pilot project under which work on 11.80 km will be carried out. For this, Rs 5,000 crore will be spent. In the second phase, rest of the project to connect Wakad with Kurla will be carried out,” an official said on Tuesday.
A Hyperloop is a high-speed mode of transportation, where a pod-like vehicle travels through a tube at near the speed of an airline. If the plan works out, people will be able to travel from Pune to Mumbai in 23 minutes.
In September 2018, the PMRDA had submitted a proposal to the Maharashtra Infrastructure Development Enabling Authority, seeking to allot part of the Hyperloop project work to interested private players, using the Swiss Challenge Method.
The project will begin with a six-month feasibility study and setting up of a 10-km demonstration track, which will start from Hinjewadi. Operations on this track are expected to begin by 2021.
In February, the Cabinet had cleared the Maharashtra Infrastructure Development Enabling Authority Act, which acts as a framework to allow infrastructure proposals to be allotted to private players using the Swiss Challenge Method.