Popularly known as Metro Man, E Sreedharan is a former Indian Engineering Services Officer. E Sreedharan will be remembered for the incomparable contribution he has made to change the face of public transport in India.
Sreedharan has made valuable contribution in development and establishment of Konkan Railways and Delhi Metro. Being a Gazette Officer, E Sreedharan made the best use of available resources and power for changing the way a common man travels in India. Delhi Metro Railway Corporation aka DMRC is now showing the rest of States in India, how to build and manage Metro Networks.
This former IES Officer is now serving the reputed United Nations. E Sreedharan was renounced as one of the Asia’s Hero in 2005 by TIMES Magazine. E Sreedharan’s contribution to development of public transport in India is futuristic; his contribution and ideology will continue to inspire greater and better public transport options in India.
Early Life of E Sreedharan : Making of the Metro Man
This 86 years Old Civil Engineer was born in Pattambi, Kerala on 12 June 1932. He started his education at Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School and later went to Victoria College. He completed his civil engineering from JNTUK in Andhra Pradesh.
Sreedharan joined Government Polytechnic as a Lecturer after completing his Engineering; later he did apprentice at Bombay Port Trust. All this while, E. Sreedharan was preparing for UPSC; it was in year 1953 when he cleared UPSC exam and deployed as Probationary Assistant Engineer in the Southern Railways.
His first joining at Southern Railway left quite an impact on his career. E Sreedharan is a man who took challenges with open heart and completed them with enthusiasm. The cyclone of 1964 washed away parts of Pamban Bridge. He was provided with a deadline of three months to get the bridge fixed but E Sreedharan’s awareness and zeal to get work done helped Railway fix the bridge in 46 days.
Indian Railways awarded E Sreedharan for his amazing work on Pamban Bridge.
The Metro Man and India’s First Metro
Kolkata Metro was being planned when E Sreedharan was rolled in as the Deputy Chief Engineer. Sreedharan was provided with the responsibility of designing, planning and implementation of Kolkata Metro.
Sreedharan not only successful built Kolkata Metro from Scratch but also showed the people of India a road to modern infrastructures. Sreedharan was the Deputy Chief Engineer from 1970 to 1975.
Kolkata Metro was a success and it brought a lot of praises for Sreedharan’s vision and work. It was around this time when Sreedharan rose to popularity and started becoming the idol he is today.
Sreedharan’s Contribution to huge Konkan Railway Project
As published in NDTV; in 1987 Sreedharan was holding the office of General Manager and in 1989 he was promoted to the office of Member Engineering, Railway Board and then he retired in 1990.
Sreedharan’s retirement was the turning point of his career because it is only after his retirement was renounced saying, “We still need your service” by Central Government that ambitious projects like Delhi Metro, Cochin Metro and Konkan Railway happened.
On Contract basis he was promoted to be the CMD of Konkan Railway in 1990. The project was completed in seven years but these seven years were really difficult and the age of transformation. New technologies, paradigms and building methods were brought use. The project covered a distance of 760 km and there were more than 150 bridges and 93 tunnels.
The revolutionary Delhi Metro and India’s Metro Man
Central Government’s decision of not letting E Sreedharan retire in 1990 has helped India acquire a lot of amazing options of public transport. Delhi Metro continues to the epitome work of E. Sreedharan. Delhi Metro is an idol for every metro in the country.
Sreedharan was provided with reign of Delhi Metro Railway Corporation in 1997 by the then Chief Minister. He was later awarded with a series of awards and recognitions in 2005 once the Delhi Metro project was completed.
The on going journey of building better and efficient public transport
Sreedharan was provided with Metro building contracts back to back. After completing Delhi Project, Sreedharan was handed over with the responsibility of Kochi Metro. E Sreedharan went against government’s will and enrolled DMRC to help in building Kochi Metro.
Kochi Metro is one of the smartest and well-managed metro systems in India.
Sreedharan may be out of sight but he is certainly not out of media. He continues to work as a critic and give government his opinion on varied policies and projects.
Indian Express recently reported him saying, “Bullet Trains for India can wait”, which was quite a setback for the government planning to bring Bullet Trains to India at the earliest.