Metro Man Sreedharan switches tracks, retires SaturdayDecember 30th, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Fondly termed Metro Man for changing the way Delhiites commute, E. Sreedharan finally hangs up his boots Saturday after an eventful 15-year tenure as Delhi Metro chief.
Sreedharan, then 65, joined the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in 1997. The first eight kilometre stretch opened in December 2002. Today, the network extends over 190 km in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) towns of Gurgaon in Haryana and Noida and Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh. Eighteen lakh passengers travel on the 2,400 train trips on the network every day.
This after a five-decade career in the Indian Railways during which he delivered what many considered to be impossible — the Konkan Railway along the country’s wests coast covering around 760 km with 93 tunnels and 50 bridges. He took up the project in 1990 after retiring from the Indian Railways and seven years later, seamlessly transited to the DMRC.
Now 79, Sreedharan has not only set a new paradigm for the way in which people travel but raised the bar for delivering infrastructure.
“The guidelines Mr. Sreedharan laid down will be followed as they are. Even if he retires, he will be our role model. He has set a path that cannot be tampered with,” a senior DMRC official, pleading anonymity told IANS.
AS is his wont, Sreedharan completed Phase I of the Metro project involving 65 km of underground, ground level and elevated tracks two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. The 125 km Phase II took four-and-a-half years. Planning is now underway for the 117-km Phase III.
Not for nothing has the DMRC model now been taken across the country to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi and Kolkata.
“He (Sreedharan) is known for his outstanding work. His managerial skills are admirable. We will miss his services,” Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told IANS.
“My government will miss him. He has given us a most reliable and modern Metro network. He made travel in the city more comfortable. I do not have words to offer our gratitude to him for giving us a wonderful mode of public transport,” Dikshit said.
Sreedharan, who was to step down in 2000, was repeatedly requested by the Delhi government to continue as the DMRC chief. He was given five extensions to avoid any hindrance to Delhi Metro’s Phase I and II projects.
In an earlier interview with IANS, Sreedharan had said he would definitely quit in 2011 as the pace of work was becoming too hectic for him.
“I am not really indispensable to the DMRC. Very frankly, the only thing is the government felt that my continuing was necessary for the completion of Phase I and phase II. As for Phase III in Delhi, I will be involved only in the initial work as in a project of this type there are so many decisions to be taken.”
Sreedharan’s will be a hard act to follow and the mantle has fallen on Mangu Singh, 56, the DMRC’s director (works), who oversaw the construction of the showpiece Airport Express Metro.
Mangu Singh, a civil engineer and Roorkee University alumnus, was selected by a three-member panel consisting of union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, Delhi Chief Secretary P.K. Tripathi and Sreedharan.
- We will miss Sreedharan's services: Dikshit - Dec 28, 2011
- Metro Man rides into sunset, to pass baton to Mangu Singh (With Image) - Dec 30, 2011
- Sreedharan bids adieu to Delhi Metro - Dec 31, 2011
- Secretariat-Kashmere Gate Metro line expected by 2015 - May 25, 2012
- DDA told to raise funds for Metro network expansion - May 03, 2011
- Eight years on, Delhi Metro plans for Phase III (Lead) - Dec 24, 2010
- Metro Phase III gets approval - Aug 10, 2011
- Delhi Metro has a Rs.15,000 crore debt - Feb 14, 2012
- Delhi Metro Phase III gets bigger, to cover Jamia, Faridabad - Jan 31, 2011
- Book on Delhi Metro's success story - May 16, 2012
- Top Delhi Metro official resigns - Apr 19, 2012
- Will quit by 2011-end, successor by August: Sreedharan (Interview) - Jan 18, 2011
- Row breaks out over Kochi Metro Rail project - Jan 02, 2012
- Sreedharan is on board Kochi Metro - Jan 12, 2012
- Delhi Metro chief inspects ongoing work - Feb 10, 2012
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