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 ground-breaking ceremony for the project, estimated to cost about Rs 1 lakh crore, is planned in Ahmedabad on September 14 in the presence of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi. The project, largely funded by low-cost financing from Japan, is planned to be built based on Japanese technology by a consortium of six rail companies under the aegis of Japan International Consultants or Japan Railways Group, along with the National High Speed Rail Corporation, a three-way alliance between the Gujarat and Maharashtra state governments and the urban development ministry.

With an interest rate of a negligible 0.1% over an exceptionally long 50-year term and repayment moratorium for the first 15 years, the funding from Japan for the High Speed Rail Corporation, a three-way alliance between the Gujarat and Maharashtra state governments and the urban development ministry.

“I will be the interface between the two governments. This I will be the interface between the two governments. This is a prestigious project but extremely complex. Converting the political will into actual execution will take a lot of effort,” Sinha said in a phone interview from his Tokyo home on Sunday, a day before flying out to Hyderabad. The Indian government expects the 508-km project that will connect Sabarmati, Surat and Vadodara, among other places, to be completed by May 2023. Two-thirds of the project will be within Gujarat, M Modi’s home state. For over two decades, Sinha has been promoting interaction among industrialists, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and academicians between the two countries 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.

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