Mumbai

Mumbai-Pune in 25 minutes could be a reality

State to call for suggestions and objections to hyperloop’s detailed project report

The State government has taken a step closer to realising the ambitious ultra high-speed hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune.

The government on Friday declared its intent to call for suggestions and objections to the network’s detailed project report (DPR), which promises a social economic bonanza of ₹3.5 lakh crore for the State.

Moving to the next stage

A high power committee led by Chief Secretary D.K. Jain directed the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) to move to the next stage of financial bidding by starting the suggestion-objection process. “We have asked them [PMRDA] to invite suggestions and objections. We want to move to the bidding process now. Let people of the State come forward to give a view on the project,” said a senior bureaucrat on the panel.

Other members of the committee include secretaries of the Urban Development Department, Public Works Department (PWD) and the Transport Department. The PWD is the parent authority for the new Maharashtra Infrastructure Policy Act, 2018, regulating the project as per the Swiss challenge method. “We are the parent authority and our role is to only monitor the implementation of the Act,” said Manoj Saunik, Principal Secretary, PWD.

The ultra high-speed network promises to link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai in 25 minutes. The DPR, feasibility study and the pre-feasibility studies were completed and signed between Virgin Hyperloop One and PMRDA in 2017.

The hyperloop system will have the potential for the rapid movement of palletised freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating infrastructure for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and next-generation logistics.

According to the pre-feasibility study, the route is likely to ease severe congestion on the expressway and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tonnes annually. It is estimated to provide socio-economic benefits worth $55 billion (₹3.5 lakh crore) by saving time and operational costs, and reducing emissions and accidents over 30 years.

‘Enormous opportunity’

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in June last year, along with a PMRDA delegation, visited Virgin’s full-scale hyperloop test site in the Nevada Desert. “I am excited to see this Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project go from a vision to reality as it starts detailed planning. The opportunity is enormous: to connect 26 million people with access to affordable infrastructure that will unlock significant economic and social value,” Sir Richard Branson had said. “It is an honour to work with Maharashtra and its key stakeholders, sharing their vision to transform transportation and a wider society,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 8:28:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mumbai-pune-in-25-minutes-could-be-a-reality/article25974647.ece

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