British billionaire Richard Branson on Thursday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to clear "misunderstandings" and gauge the new administrations interest in the $ 10 billion Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project.
Branson met the CM at Matoshree, the Thackeray family bungalow in suburban Bandra, soon after the Shiv Sena chief returned from a tour of Pune district earlier in the day.
At an event here on Wednesday, Branson had made it clear that the entire cost of the project will be borne by the private sector and it will not depend on any funding from the state.
"It is just a courtesy call (with Thackeray) and also to ensure that any misunderstandings regarding the project are cleared," Branson had told reporters here.
"When there is a change in administration and you have a big project going on, it is important to have a courtesy call. Uddhav Thackeray and the various coalition people that he has around them need to meet people who are doing big projects or those wanting to do big projects in their state," he had said.
"We just need to see whether the new government is so keen as the old government (on the project)," he had added.
Hyperloop is the name given to a technology originally conceived by Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk, wherein vacuum is used to transport people very fast. The technology is yet to be commercially launched and multiple companies are working on it.
Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One had stunned all by announcing the project when Devendra Fadnavis was the state's chief minister and had promised to get the project going by 2020.
The Fadnavis government had accorded infrastructure status to the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project that seeks to reduce the travel time between the two cities to just 23 minutes.