Sanjeev Sinha, former Tata executive in Tokyo and the first IIT-ian from Barmer, Rajasthan, has been appointed as adviser for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail project by Japan Railways.
The Indian government expects the 508-km project that will connect Sabarmati, Surat and Vadodara, among other places, to be completed by May 2023. Twothirds of the project will be within Gujarat, Modi’s home state.
“The Japanese agencies have largely worked within the country except for the Taiwan bullet train project. For some of them, even English-speaking human resources is a major challenge. Then comes the massive civil engineering issues,” Sinha added.
“I believe Japan International Cooperation Agency that is already involved with Mumbai and Delhi metro projects have been assigned to study safety measures,” he said.
Sinha argues bullet trains, with speeds of 285 km per hour, can’t be built overnight and need “meticulous planning.” He is confident that the railways can work along with the new hi-tech projects and learn best practices.
“India’s rail network is vast but behind several developing nations. I hope the Japanese Shinkansen with a fabulous record of zero fatal accidents in its operations.
This has been achieved in over more than 50 years despite very intricate passenger friendly operations amidst earthquakes, typhoons and a very difficult hilly terrain of Japan, acts as a benchmark.”
For over two decades, Sinha has been promoting interaction between
the two countries. This has been to the with specific work on the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Andhra Pradesh’s new capital project and Japanese financing of about $400 million for IIT Hyderabad, among others.