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Major Setback for Virgin Hyperloop One. India Shelves $10 billion Pune - Mumbai Hyperloop Project in Maharashtra

    Ansh Chaturvedi

    India hyperloop route

    US-based Virgin Hyperloop One had been working on convincing different stakeholders in India' Maharashtra to construct the World's first operational Hyperloop people mover between Mumbai-Pune.

    All went fine until November 2019. That is when the government changed. It proved a bad fate for Richard Branson of Virgin Hyperloop One. The new government of Uddhav Thackeray government took charge in Maharashtra.

    On around December 11. 2019, the new Thackeray government announced on December 11, 2019 that it had decided to put another project, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project under review. Sensing that the Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop Project would be the next casualty of the new government,  Richard Branson, with all his charm called the Chief Minister Thackeray to convince him to keep the project alive.

    Now it is clear, Richard Branson's charm was not enough. Tackeray's Maharashtra government announced that they are also putting breaks on with the $10 billion Pune - Mumbai Hyperloop Project.

    The Maharashtra government says, they would only consider the hyperloop project, if it is tried in an operational track of at least 10 kilometers somewhere else. “Let it happen somewhere else. Let it become successful for at least a 10 km distance somewhere abroad,” Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister  told reporters. He also added that this did not mean the cancellation of the project.

    Populist and nationwide ruling party BJP criticized the decision of shelving the hyperloop project, calling it "MVA govt’s decision to scrap hyperloop project is anti-development". BJP was also the governing party in Maharastra before being toppled by current Chief Minister Thackeray's  Shiv Sena political party.