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infrastructure | IST

Hyperloop will declutter Mumbai-Pune highway, says Virgin Group's Richard Branson

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In an interview to CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan, Richard Branson Founder of Virgin Group shared his India outlook and also spoke about Virgin Group's Hyperloop project in Maharashtra.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan, Richard Branson Founder of Virgin Group shared his India outlook and also spoke about Virgin Group's Hyperloop project in Maharashtra.
On Hyperloop Branson said, "Virgin Hyperloop is something very dear to my heart. It will cut the journey time for people traveling to and from places down dramatically. One of the busiest routes in the world is Mumbai-Pune, so I am meeting the Chief Minister to talk about that route and see whether we can build Virgin Hyperloop alongside the main motorway so that people can travel between Pune and Mumbai in 20 minutes to half an hour rather than in 4 to 5 hours."
He further added, "We have no need for government money. It will be easy for the private sector to fund this and it will take a lot of burden off the roads, a lot of deaths off the road, Mumbai-Pune is one the bloodiest roads in the world to travel on. I think for people to get into the pod, to be in this pod on electromagnetic clean energy from Pune to Mumbai at 500 odd miles an hour will be something which will be incredibly exciting and it will actually put India at the cutting edge of transportation of anywhere in the world."
On privatisation of Air India he said, "I did not even know that Air India was being privatised, but hats off to the government for looking at that. I will be happy to have a look at it anyway and find out more. Whether it is going to be privatised as a whole or whether it should be broken up or whatever I do not know, but yes, we are delighted to have a look."
On Brexit, Branson said, "Today we are obviously talking about the British elections, so it is impossible to say exactly what is going to happen. However, a soft Brexit will be painful for Britain and painful for Europe but not anywhere near as painful as a hard Brexit. So, we will lose maybe half the GDP that we would have lost with a hard Brexit. There are lots of other negatives for young people, they won't be able to live or work in 28 other countries, they will be stuck in the UK. I think we will see Britain break up. Scotland will break away, Northern Island could break away, Wales could break away. So, Great Britain could become little England as a result."
Speaking about climate change he said, "The only people in the world that have any doubts about climate change are based in America and the only leader in the world that has any doubts about climate change is based in America and it makes me want to weep. You have got scientists incredibly clear that the carbon we are putting up is creating this blanket around the earth and this blanket is getting thicker and thicker and the thicker it gets the more the world is going to heat up and ultimately it is going to be disaster for the world and so we have to address it. We have to address it in a way that is going to be least painful to the public, least painful for companies and we have an idea which we are trying to get governments to adapt which I think could get on top of climate change."