Maharashtra Current Affairs

Maharashtra inks deal with Virgin Group for World’s First Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune

The Virgin Group led by Richard Branson has signed an intent agreement with Maharashtra Government to build world’s first hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune.

The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on first day of Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit held in Mumbai.

Key Facts

The proposed hyperlook transportation system will link central Pune with megapolis as well as Navi Mumbai international airport. It aims to reduce travel time between two mega cities to 20 minutes from three hours at present. Details of project cost and time-line are yet to be announced.

The proposed loop will be a fully electric system and will have the capability travel up to 1,000 km per hour. It will be able to ferry 150 million passengers every year. It will transform transportation system and make Maharashtra global pioneer in this space. The project will create thousands of jobs and has numerous socioeconomic benefits.

Hyperloop Technology

Hyperloop Technology is dubbed as fifth mode of transportation. It is system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes. It envisages tube modular transport system that runs free of friction. It uses linear Induction motors in it to control speed of pods. It is still in trial stages in different countries and not been implemented for practical use anywhere in world yet.


Hyperloop is two-to-three times faster than fastest high-speed rail and claimed to have speeds even greater than commercial air travel. It has smaller civil engineering footprint, with no direct emissions or noise compared to railways. Hyperloop system’s capital cost per mile is 60% that of high-speed rail, and is less expensive to operate. Furthermore, Hyperloop departures could happen with a low frequency of a pod every 20 seconds which is not possible in railways.


It requires heavy investments and therefore effective public and private sector coordination is prerequisite for implementing it. It consumes high-power compared to railways. Technical challenges and accidents may hamper its progress.


PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Fourth Container Terminal of JNPT in Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Fourth Container Terminal (FCT) of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. With this, JNPT doubled its container handling capacity.

The new FCT will add capacity of 24 lakh containers per year in Phase-I and after completion of Phase-II in 2022, the capacity of JNPT will be 100 lakh containers per year.

Key Facts

The new FCT of JNPT has been developed on Design, Built, Fund, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis for a concession period of 30 years at estimated cost of Rs. 7915 crore. The project was implemented in two Phases. i.e. Phase I and Phase II.

The indicative cost of the project for Phase I was Rs.4719 Crore. Its foundation stone was laid PM Narendra Modi  in October 2015 and was completed in record time.

The terminal has deepest berths to handle “Mother Ships. It can handle biggest container ships from quay length of 1 km and cranes that can reach 22 rows wide or greater. It can also handle three container ships at one go with sufficient yard space.

The new FCT is also linked to dedicated rail freight corridor and can receive about 350 containers per rake. The rail facilities will be largest in India with only on-dock Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) compliant facility in India. It is capable of handling 1.5km long, 360 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) container trains on completion of DFC. It also has provision for storing 1,600 reefer (refrigerated) containers to handle agricultural and horticulture produce.