Will India be the first country to host the Hyperloop?

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Steve Marcus/Reuters

Every week media outputs an update or two on the Hyperloop project and its path to the market. Elon Musk’s brainchild of a project is a magnet to attention, which attracts passion seekers as well as it builds concept awareness.

This week, based on The Economic Times reporting, we hear of a slight progression in regards to the discourse between Hyperloop Transportation Technologies company and the Indian administration.

According to a top Indian government official, “We had received a proposal from the company which has now been referred to Niti Aayog.”

For some background knowledge, the Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) is an Indian government-based think tank created to foster engagement in the economic policy-making process. This agency, which was founded in January of 2015 by the Indian Prime Minister, will be deciding the fate of Hyperloop’s proposal to set up shop in India.

Road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari, is also in contact with US-based Hyperloop Transport Technology and acts as a key player in this decision.

“We have no resistance to the upcoming global technology,” transport minister Gadkari continued, “however, since the hyperloop technology is yet to be operational anywhere in the world, we need to know how feasible it is.”

Interest levels of incorporating a new-age transportation system in the Indian country are high, though so are the risks and concerns. Proposing such a future-thinking concept without any viable insurance of experience, Hyperloop today still stirs anxiety over passenger safety.

Originally, the Hyperloop was drawn up with intention to serve both people (substitutive of current railways in major cities) and freight corridor. However, it doesn’t seem likely that the Indian administration will begin transporting people anytime soon.

“Their claim is impressive. However, we are not considering them for passenger transportation. We could consider them for a greenfield dedicated freight corridor for movement of containers and white goods,” a senior railway ministry official said.

For those fiscal and business-minded folks there’s no need to worry; the gain of revenue from the freight transportation industry is estimated to be multiple that of which would be generated from moving people. Us humans must wait our turn for our first ride.

Daniel Legmann

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