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Chandrababu Naidu's Amaravati Metro Rail project turns into a fiasco
At first, the Chandrababu Naidu-led government put in cold storage the much trumpeted Amaravati Metro Rail project that involved huge amounts of public money. Later, the government, for reasons best known to it, all of a sudden altered the tune and began to sing 'Light Metro' lyric.

Even before completing two months after the change there is yet another change namely 'Hyperloop'. MoU, in this connection, was signed recently between the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for introduction of Hyper loop transport system in a 27- miles distance between Vijayawada and Amaravati.

Euphoria started on the same day that Andhra Pradesh was fortunate to get the first hyper loop transport in the world. But statistics concerning the costs for preparation of the project report or for entire project was kept in the dark.

Interestingly the hyperloop system is still in the experimental and observational stages. This was proposed way back in 2013 by Elon Musk who is the founder of US-based PayPal,Tesla Motors and Space X companies. The system, according to him, was described as the fifth mode of transportation after the road, air, water and railways. Hyperloop system is said to be developed to facilitate public transport over and underground by means of  tubes called pods that can travel at an average speed of 800 miles  per hour without any pressure or friction. Each pod can accommodate a maximum number of  28 persons. This is not a mass transport system. The capsules are not joined with one another and are separate. Elon Musk has reportedly raised competition among technical organizations which can manufacture and implement the system strictly in accordance with their specifications and standards. He is extending financial support to the companies that offer viable Hyperloop technologies. HTT is one among such ones that receive financial support from Elon Musk.

Recently Forbes magazine revealed the cost of manufacture of a capsule as  Rs 9 Cr. Further details are as follows: Capsule structure and doors- Rs.1.6 Cr. Interior and seats –Rs 1.6 Cr. Compressor and plumbing -1.82Cr. Battteries and electronics- Rs 99.77 Lac. Propulsion equipment – 83 Lac., Suspension air bearings-1.33Cr., Assembling of spare parts –Rs 67 Lac. It is estimated to cost 11.5 Million US  dollars ( nearly Rs 73 Cr) for construction of  one mile of hyperloop passenger transportation system . Thus it would involve an expenditure of  about Rs 1971 Cr for construction of  the passenger transportation system for a total distance of 27 miles between Vijayawada and Amaravathi.

The key point that raises concern is thus far, the HTT has no record of having constructed at least one kilometer of  hyperloop passenger transportation system on commercial basis. Last year, on August 30,  Ellon Musk's Tesla Motors reportedly conducted a trial run of  the hyperloop  way  in a kilometer distance, the model capsule ran at a speed of 210 miles/hr. Musk posted an instagram message that it might take 5 to 6 years more to achieve the proposed speed of 800 miles/hr. So far, the much-hyped   hyperloop way was not implemented anywhere.  It is believed to be introduced in the USA in the coming 7 to 8 years. But Chandra Babu Naidu's  administration in post-haste inked an MoU with the HTT for introducing the Hyperloop way that hitherto did not register any credible success record.

One criticism of the concept is that due to the depressurization, any crack or fault anywhere on the tube could lead to a system-wide shut down. Even a bump on the track could result in derailing the pod, leading to a catastrophe with potential injuries and fatalities. Every inch of the track and tube would need to be perfect to successfully sustain a pod racing at 800 mph.

The cost and manpower associated with the service and repairs of a single route alone seems unimaginable. That worry is doubled when considering any sort of earthquake or tectonic shift, regardless of the magnitude, would seem to have dire consequences.

Even aside from safety concerns, questions remain about how people would feel about riding the system itself. Granted, the accompanying G-force behind an 800-mph excursion would be low, comparable to taking off on a plane. It would only be felt for about two minutes, both while accelerating and slowing down, after which the body would adjust.

However, the force would increase significantly if the Hyperloop were taking a turn, with the G-force pushing blood around the body rapidly. This experience could be a health risk for some, and just a genuine discomfort to the rest.

Furthermore, the experience would be harrowing for many, as the small pods would be fully enclosed inside the tubes, with no exit or view of the outside world to speak of.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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