first_imgVirgin Hyperloop One has signed the framework agreement with the Maharashtra government to build a hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune that would cut down travel time to 14-25 minutes.The announcement was made on Feb. 18 by Virgin Group founder and Virgin Hyperloop One chairman Sir Richard Branson. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also present during the announcement.The hyperloop will connect central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai. It will support 150 million passenger trips per year, Branson said in a statement.“As our team’s studies have found, the Pune-Mumbai route could result in $55 billion (Rs 350,000 crore) in socio-economic benefits, time savings, accident reduction and operational cost savings, over 30 years of operation,” he added.The project is part of the Magnetic Maharashtra project. The key investors of Hyperloop One, besides Branson, are Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the CEO and group Chairman of DP World, and Ziyavudin Magomedov, the Chairman of Summa Group.“Mumbai-Pune is one of the most busiest routes in the world, anybody who uses it regularly knows it can be unpleasant route to travel on. The study just shows that the opportunity is enormous and the government is welcoming it with open arms and they are working very closely with us to make it happen. Three years from now we will finish the test run on this route and six to seven years from now the route will be commercially opened,” Branson said, according to the Economic Times.India will debut the technology before Middle East, Northern Europe or the United States of America, the publication added.It will cost a passenger almost the same as a cab or flight between the two cities. The demonstration track will be built in 2-3 years after signing the final agreement. In the second phase, the aim will be to complete the entire route in 5-7 years.Branson also said that the Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century.Why I believe @Virgin @HyperloopOne could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century https://t.co/IkYbfIs2yi pic.twitter.com/WEuS6VWbzU— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) February 18, 2018Branson’s connection with India is not limited to his business interests. The business magnate had said in 2016 in a blog post that after a DNA analysis he found that his third great-grandmother was an Indian from Chennai.“What’s more exciting is that the Madras archives combined with analysis of my DNA uncovered a very surprising family secret. The baptismal record of my second great-grandmother Eliza Reddy strangely didn’t list her mother. Analysis of my DNA revealed that the reason for this was because my third great-grandmother was Indian. Yes, it turns out I’m part Indian. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when I found this out. I’m honored. I wish that my father had got to see these records; he would have been fascinated too,” he said in a blog post on Feb. 3, 2016. Related ItemshyperloopRichard BransonVirgin Atlanticlast_img