The recipe of success is quite well known, the essential ingredients are perseverance, courage to execute and power to persuade when simmered over the flame of passion, the final product becomes delicious. Topped with slices of intelligence, it releases a distinguished flavor too. E. Sreedharan, the Metro Man of India diligently used this recipe for the success of several projects that have benefited not only him but thousands of Indian citizens. He changed the face of public transport in India.
Before taking over as the chief of Delhi Metro, he had designed numerous successful projects. He was reluctant at first to take up the responsibility but thinking about the welfare of thousands of citizens, he agreed at last, but on the following conditions:
- To be allowed to select his own team
- To keep away all kinds of political interference
- To put a stay on the tendering process
Never in history, such conditions were agreed upon, but it was surprising for Mr. Sreedharan when the board agreed to everything he asked for. And he made sure that project becomes a case study of perfect execution for generations to follow and learn. The construction of the Delhi Metro line was absolutely flawless, but simultaneously special care was taken to not disrupt the life of the common people. The two years and nine months of construction of the first phase of Delhi Metro didn’t affect the environment adversely and not even a single penny was overspent.
His notable achievements began with the construction of the Pampan Bridge, to the completion of the Konkan railway (760 kilometers of track), and the Delhi Metro. He started his journey as an assistant engineer in 1954 at the Indian Railway Engineering Service and retired in 1990. Then he founded the Konkan Rail Corporation Limited. After that, he went on to become the managing director of DMRC in 1997, from which he retired in 2011.At that time he was 79 and all he wanted was a peaceful retired life, but who knew he would end up taking up another herculean task of overseeing the monorails of Kozikhode and Thiruvananthapuram.
In so many decades of managing huge projects, not even once there was any clue of corruption. In 2010, when all the projects related to the Commonwealth Games were under the radar for scandals, the Delhi Metro Project stood proudly without any allegations. The other milestones of Sreedharan include the design of Calcutta Metro. He did all the necessary research by analyzing the Tokyo Metro lines, and a wonderful underground metro rail system was designed and executed. Sreedharan has received several national and international awards for his contributions, that include the prestigious Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan also.
Sreedharan’s philosophy of life is straights and simple: “Be honest in your private and public life in such a way that you don’t need to try hard to convince anybody; stand firm and do not cede an inch while discharging your duties with conviction; polish your professional skills and do not let it go out of date; keep your integrity so you hold in esteem even the most downtrodden in the society in your plans; be moral; follow habits that rejuvenate both your body and mind”