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Let foreign firms fetch hyperloop technology for India: Niti Aayog member

Noting that India is able to develop its own design of Hyperloop technology for ultra high speed travel, Member VK Saraswat said on Sunday that as it would take time, the country should allow foreign companies to set up a technology demonstration line.

Saraswat, who chairs a committee to examine the technological and commercial viability of Virgin’s Hyperloop technology, said India should also be a regulatory mechanism since safety is a major issue in Hyperloop technology.

“Hyperloop is a high-speed train that travels in a tube in a vacuum. We (members of the Expert Committee) have found that there are two ways to do this, ”he told PTI in an interview.

Hyperloop is a technology proposed by inventor and businessman Elon Musk, who is behind the electric car company Tesla and the commercial space transportation company SpaceX.

“One way is to give overseas companies a chance to show demonstrations. Another way is to do serious research and development in parallel in this particular area, and our studies show that we are capable of doing research and development operate and develop their own designs, “notes Saraswat, formerly head of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

the However, the member said: “Since it will take time, parallel to when foreign companies come to set up a demonstration line, for example in Maharashtra or Karnataka, we should allow them.”

Saraswat also indicated that security and regulatory mechanisms should be put in place, as security is an important issue in Hyperloop technology.

However, he added that the expert commission had not yet made a final decision.

The Virgin Hyperloop test run was conducted on November 9, 2020 on a 500-meter track in Las Vegas, USA, using a pod, as the Hyperloop vehicles are called, that was carried with passengers, including an Indian, in a closed tube when traveling more than 100 mph or 161 km / h.

The Virgin Hyperloop is one of a handful of companies currently trying to build such a system for passengers

Maharashtra has declared Hyperloop a public infrastructure exercise and approved the Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium as the original project sponsor for the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project.

When asked about the shortage of semiconductors, which is causing production problems, Saraswat replied that the government was seriously planning to set up indigenous semiconductor foundries in the country.

“As for semiconductors, the government is very seriously considering building a very strong ecosystem for semiconductor self-sufficiency as we found during the pandemic that the semiconductor supply chain is seriously disrupted, affecting our automotive and other electronics industries and so on “, he said.

Regarding the recent coal and electricity shortages in India, Saraswat noted that the disruption was due to various logistic issues that arose from both a mining and transportation perspective.

“Now the mining activities have been completely rebuilt. All mines are working full-time. The Indian railways also have additional trains,” he said, adding that there is no coal-starved power plant in the country.

Several thermal power plants in the country ended up in a crisis due to low coal reserves.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had said that the closure of some mines and the flooding of some others due to the monsoons had created the crisis.

Given the surge in copper imports recently, Saraswat said the government was working to keep primary copper production competitive.

“Today there are certain anomalies related to taxation and things like that … we are trying to increase cost efficiency (copper production in India),” he said.

India was a net exporter of copper for nearly two decades before the Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, closed in May 2018.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been revised by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)