The Punjab government is exploring the feasibility of connecting major towns in the state through Hyperloop, a futuristic transport system in which passenger pods zip through vacuum tubes at high speeds.
The state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One to conduct a pre-feasibility economic study for Hyperloop on Amritsar-Ludhiana-Chandigarh route, Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Industry and Commerce, Punjab, said in a statement here.
The MoU was signed by K Siva Prasad, Principal Secretary (Transport), Punjab, and Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director – Middle East & India, Virgin Hyperloop One, in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the statement said.
As per Virgin Hyperloop One’s initial estimates, a hyperloop transportation project along the Amritsar-Ludhiana-Chandigarh corridor could reduce travel time from five hours by road to less than 30 minutes.
Under Hyperloop, passenger pods will use electric propulsion and electromagnetic leviation under vaccum conditions.
“Punjab is very keen to be the second state in India after Maharashtra to build a Hyperloop system. Specifically, we would like to explore a Hyperloop project through the state of Punjab, connecting with other metropolitan centres in the country. In the future, this project could link beyond Punjab to connect to the NCR,” the chief minister said.
Virgin Hyperloop One is also in discussions with Haryana government for a separate MoU to evaluate feasibility of Hyperloop system that could potentially extend the route from Punjab to the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The Hyperloop project pre-feasibility study will be completed within six weeks. It will evaluate several measures such as cost, demand, and socio-economic benefits of the corridor,” as per the statement.
“A Hyperloop route in Punjab can be transformative for the state and we look forward to moving ahead on this project, just as we have done in Maharashtra,” Dhaliwal said.
“There is tremendous economic potential in connecting some of Punjab’s biggest cities such as Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Chandigarh, among others in northern India, with a hyperloop infrastructure project,” he added. PTI CHS