Delhi besides, being the capital of the country is also the only city in the country that boasts of one of the best public transports of the world. Delhi and Metro are two terms that are almost synonymous with each other. Metro has not only revolutionized the way people travel in the city but also changed the whole concept and reputation of public transport in Delhi. But, few know the man behind building up this colossal project touching the lives of lakhs each day. Meet Mr. E. Sreedharan also called the metro man of India. We bring you some unknown facts about this unknown hero.
He was born in a small town in Ponnani in Kerala, studied engineering at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Later on, he cleared the prestigious IES (Indian Engineering Services) to join the southern railway
#2 DISCIPLINED DEMEANOR
A deeply spirited person, He believes “god is everywhere”. He is a Vedantist i.e. he believes in the universal presence of god. With his day starting at 4 in the morning, he practices yoga each day; since he believes it is necessary for the mind to be in control to control the body. He is also very punctual of time; he starts his work at 9:30 a.m. sharp each morning.
#3 ARMY FOLLOWS THE KING
His personnel staff and core team have stuck by his side for nearly 30 years owing to his corporate consciousness and charismatic character. A.K.P Unny is his OSD who accompanies him everywhere and takes notes of whatever new comes to his mind.
#4 JOURNEY COMMENCES
Before joining DMRC, he worked with the Konkan railways. He built the first major project in India to be undertaken on a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis; the organization structure was different from that of a typical Indian Railway set-up; the project had 93 tunnels along a length of 82 km and involved tunneling through soft soil. The total project covered 760 km and had over 150 bridges.
#5 UNPREDICTABLE PREDICAMENTS
In December 1964, a cyclone washed away parts of Pamban Bridge that connected Rameswaram to mainland Tamil Nadu. The Railways set a target of six months for the bridge to be repaired while Sreedharan’s boss, under whose jurisdiction the bridge came, reduced it to three months. Sreedharan was put in-charge of the execution and he restored the bridge in just 46 days. The Railway minister’s Award was given to him in recognition of this achievement.
#6 ON THE WAY TO DELHI
He was 64 when he was made the Managing Director of DMRC already past his retiring age in 1997 by the then chief minister of Delhi Mr. Sahib Singh Verma on a contract basis. He completed all the projects before time and in the right budget. Then his contract got extended after which he finally retired on 31 December 2011.
#7 AN IDEAL LEADER
An innovative technocrat, an astute yet benevolent entrepreneur. He handled the land acquisitions quite well even in a busy and congested place like Delhi. As a part of his strategy, metro works on the strategy of fewer than 4o people per route km.
#8 LIFE AFTER DELHI
After his retirement from DMRC, Sreedharan has been appointed as Principal Advisor of the Kochi Metro Rail Project. Initially, the project faced hurdles when a controversy broke out with the government announcing a global tender process for Kochi Metro, rather than letting DMRC handle the consultancy and project execution as Sreedharan and DMRC had initially asked for. However, several political parties came out in opposition to the move and backed Sreedharan’s decision in enforcing DMRC’s role in the Kochi Metro, after which the government reversed its stance. In 2013, Sreedharan estimated that the Kochi metro would be ready by 3 years
#9 FAN FOLLOWING
Besides Kochi and Delhi metro, he has also been approached for building metros for many other cities like Lucknow metro, Jaipur metro, Vijayawada, and Vishakhapatnam.
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