Richard Branson to meet Maharashtra CM over Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project

.

British billionaire Richard Branson on Wednesday said he will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to clear "misunderstandings" and gauge the new administrations interest in the $10 billion Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project.

Branson also made it clear that the entire cost of the project will be borne by the private sector and it will not depend on any funding from the state.

"It is just a courtesy call (with Thackeray) and also to ensure that any misunderstandings regarding the project are cleared," Branson told reporters here.

"When there is a change in administration and youve a big project going on, it is important to have a courtesy call. Uddhav Thackeray and the various coalition people that he has around them need to meet people who are doing big projects or those wanting to do big projects in their state," he said.

"We just need to see whether the new government is so keen as the old government (on the project)," he added.

Branson said engineers at the groups hyperloop facility in Las Vegas are working on the project and they are ready to "get going quite soon" with the Mumbai-Pune project.

Hyperloop is the name given to a technology originally conceived by Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk, wherein vacuum is used to transport people very fast. The technology is yet to be commercially launched and multiple companies are working on it.

Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One had stunned all by announcing the project when Devendra Fadnavis was the state's chief minister and had promised to get the project going by 2020.

The Fadnavis government had accorded infrastructure status to the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project that seeks to reduce the travel time between the two cities to just 23 minutes.

Branson also said he is not interested in buying Air India.

He expressed sadness over the shutting down of Jet Airways, and said the airline industry isnt an easy sector to be in.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel