Elon Musk is a name that needs no introduction in the world of technology and business. The founder and Chairman of SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla Motors and other prominent companies earlier introduced his magnum opus, Hyperloop One. This open source project is now all set to enter India, with the company already submitting its proposal to the Union Ministry for Road Transport.
Hyperloop One enables people to travel in specially designed travel pods through tunnels that are installed on concrete pillars. The speed of these pods goes up to a massive 1,200 km per hour. The presence of a vacuum inside the tunnels where the pods travel contributes to the high speeds. The addition of solar panels on the tubes and windmills helps in the reduction of operational expenditure.
The idea is to introduce this route between Chennai and Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, Bengaluru and Trivandrum, and Mumbai and Delhi, as per a tweet made by Hyperloop One.
— HyperloopOne (@HyperloopOne) January 13, 2017
The first-of-its-kind railway line will be getting on track between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the next five years, cutting the travel time between the two locations drastically, to 12 minutes from 90 minutes previously. Nevertheless, Indian engineers are hesitant about the scenario at home. A senior railway official told India Times, “Any plan that aims at high-speed connectivity is good, but they may take more than a decade to take off, because of different reasons. There will be procedural delays and time taken for approvals from the government. It is difficult to fix ticket prices professionally because the government wants to keep them low. Going by the current rate of cost of construction, it will cost Rs 6,000 to Bengaluru. The moment the fares are suggested, the government loses interest.”
A plane ticket from Bengaluru to Chennai costs about Rs 2,000-3,000, but the ticket for the Hyperloop will cost around Rs 6,000. Though it is a deal-breaker, the government would want to keep the prices low. There was a similar scenario with the high-speed railway line in Kerala. Despite the thorough studies and research on the line between Trivandrum and Mangalore, the government had to take a step back, keeping the high prices in mind.
Though it looks like an exciting prospect, something that has been taken into consideration is that Abu Dhabi has plenty of barren land, while India requires a lot of land acquisition for the project. For this to become a reality in India, it could take over five years, and a large amount of money. Though Hyperloop One is a welcome initiative for the development of infrastructure in India, it is nearly impossible for it to reach the general public.