The man who has revolutionized the way Delhites commute every day, E Sreedharan has emerged as the country’s first choice for the next Railway Minister. He’s the backbone on which the rests the success of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. In his personal like, he’s a simple man and a resident of Ponnani in Kerala.
Today, breaking the barriers of time and cost, Delhi Metro has become the lifeline of the locals. There’s a train every few minutes, the commuting time has been considerably reduced, you need not worry about getting stuck in the traffic and above all, women can rely upon the Metro for safe travel.
It’s high time the country honors the “Metro Man” and utilizes his capabilities. The proposal of having him as the next Railway Minister is a welcome move. Let’s find out below, some facts about him, which all Indians must know and be proud of:
- A Retired IES (Indian Engineering Services)
Elattuvalapil Sreedharan – a Kerala born personality, completed his Civil Engineering from the University College of Engg., JNTUK, Andhra Pradesh. Later on, Sreedharan succeeded to clear the prestigious ESE (Engineering Services Exam, now known as IES) and joined the Southern Railway as a probationary assistant engineer in the year 1954.
- He Was A Lecturer
For short period of time, Sreedharan Sir worked as a lecturer of Civil Engineering before joining the Bombay Port Trust as an apprentice. He used to teach at the government Polytechnic, Kozhikode (Calicut).
- Believes in Performing at 101%
When Sreedharan was posted in Southern Railway, a cyclone in 1964 severely damaged the Pamban Bridge that connected Rameshwaram to the mainland Tamil Nadu (TN). It was a great loss to tje people of Rameshwaram, who were left isolated from TN. The Railways set a target of six month to repair the bridge and pull back life to normal. His boss who was in charge of this ambitious project put Sreedharan (barely 30 at the time) to restore bridge operations within a short deadline of 90 days. This further cut in time limit doesn’t make Sreedharan lose his enthusiasm, cool-off his spirit and as a reward, he completed the project within record 46 days. The Railway recognized his achievement and hard work by felicitating Sreedharan the Railway Minister’s Award. This story tells us how much Sreedharan is devoted to his profession irrespective of conditions.
- He Engineered India’s First Metro
Sreedharan earned the post of deputy chief engineer in the year 1970. He was assigned with the task of blueprinting Calcutta Metro plan and its implementation. It was going to be the first ever metro in India and millions of eyes were on the fate of project. To everyone’s surprise, Sreedharan not only completed this much heralded project but also laid down the foundation of modern infrastructure engineering in India. In 1981, as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Cochin Shipyard, Sreedharan guided the first ship building project named MV Rani Padmini and successfully launched it.
- He Is a True Traveler
Sreedharan’s journey in government services came to an end after he retired from Indian Railways as Member Engineering in the year 1990. Post retirement, he was appointed as the CMD of Konkan Railway on contract basis in 1990. He completed India’s first major project under BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis. After being widely acclaimed for Konkan project, Sreedharan was made the MD of Delhi metro. Again here with his magic wand (Both hard work and professional skills), Sreedharan completed all schedule sections within budget and without any deadline extensions. Due to this, he was awarded a three year extension to oversee the Phase-II of Delhi Metro. His 16 year journey at Delhi Metro came to an end on 31 December 2011.
- The Lights Are Still Not Dimming
Numerous years in Railway’s service and then, 16 years at Konkan and DMC project, Sreedharan still refuses to hang his boots. He has been appointed as Chief Advisor for proposed Lucknow Metro project and Principal Advisor of the Kochi Metro rail Project.
- Spectacles into Sreedharan’s Personal Life
People still wonder what really makes him tick at 80 while a young man at his 20’s struggle to begin his day at 6 or 7 in the morning. Er. Sreedharan day starts at 4 am, followed by a series of meditation rounds of Bhagwad Gita. He reaches office at 9:30 am and gets straight to work. In the evening, he usually takes a long walk with his wife Radha and allocates time to his family of four children. He used to setup reverse clocks to show impending deadlines to his project members during Delhi Metro construction phase. The message of the Gita: To act, without desire for the fruits of the action gave him the courage to act. A plate placed his Kerala office read as: ‘whatever to be done, I do. But in reality I do not do anything’.