Pune: Ever thought that you could travel between Mumbai and Pune in a mere 11 minutes? As impossible as it seems, this could soon be a reality if the government decides to introduce Hyperloop Transportation in the Mumbai-Pune corridor.
Speaking to Sakal Times during his visit to the city on Friday, Chairman and Co-founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Bibop Gresta said, “A person can commute between Mumbai and Pune in about nine to 11 minutes by Hyperloop. There is a long term plan to connect Mumbai and Pune by Hyperloop. It is a priority project for Union Minister for Roads, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari. The introduction of Hyperloop on this route could solve the over-population problem of Mumbai. Also, people can then stay in or around Pune and commute to Mumbai for work on a daily basis without wasting too much time.”
Hyperloop is a futuristic mass transit system that uses tubes and levitating capsules to transport people. “We are in talks with six state governments in India including Maharashtra, Odisha and Goa for the introduction of Hyperloop. Apart from that, we are also in talks with Gadkari as well as NITI Aayog. As of now, we are in talks about intra-state transport, but there is also one proposal for an inter-state route. We are looking at proposals spanning from 30 km to 300 km,” he explained.
Speaking specifically about Pune, Gresta said that the city could be the perfect area for prototyping of Hyperloop in India. “Pune could be a big player in the Hyperloop race worldwide. It can be the perfect epicentre of a new revolution that can happen in India. It is the right size, has the right density and also perfect geography. It could be the perfect prototype but it is not the only one. Also, there is perfect political will, too many people caring fro Mumbai and Pune,” he stressed.
Speaking about Hyperloop, Gresta said that the capsules can carry 30, 40 or 50 people each depending on the size of the capsule. Gresta said that they are currently analysing a route in Maharashtra that will transport a million people a day between the two airports in Mumbai, that is the current airport in Mumbai and the new one that is coming up. He further said that the first prototype of Hyperloop in India would be 5 km long.
Explaining the benefits of Hyperloop for India, he said that the introduction of Hyperloop would be a frog leap for India. “India has amazing potential in terms of Hyperloop. This is an opportunity to not invest in obsolete transportation technologies like High-Speed Rail, which could lead to a black hole for the GDP. It costs half or one fourth of High-Speed Rail and the running cost would be one tenth of the same. In countries like India, transportation does not make money as it is based on subsidies. Hyperloop works on a reverse model and will pay the state for building the infrastructure,” he explained.
He further said that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is in talks with several institutions for setting up a Research and Development unit in India. “The R&D centre will be a Centre of Excellence for advanced mobility. The goal of the same will be to implement and improve on the initial design of Hyperloop. We have a calendar of projects that will be undertaken including aerospace, advanced engineering, civil construction, proportional levitation systems and others,” he stated.
Speaking about ongoing projects at a global level, Gresta said that they have signed contracts with seven nations, which are ready to implement Hyperloop including France, California, UAE, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Gresta said that they are just waiting for a go ahead from the government. “If we get a go ahead from the government, we can put the first passenger in a Hyperloop System in the next 36 months,” he stated.