E. Sreedharan: The Metro Man of India

E. Sreedharan: The Metro Man of India

Popularly known as the “Metro Man of India”, E. Sreedharan is largely credited for changing the face of public transport in India by his leadership in building Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro, which earned him the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award for his remarkable contributions.

When everyone was considering reducing the distance between Mumbai and Kochi to be an impossible task, technologically not feasible, and will be costing a lot of money, it was only one man who defied all arguments.

This is the success story of E. Sreedharan, a man whose unwavering dedication to his cause and tireless service have left an indelible mark.

Born on June 12, 1932, in Palakkad, Kerala, Sreedharan showcased brilliance from his early years. 

After his education in Civil Engineering from the Government Engineering College, Kakinada, he pursued a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Following his engineering education, Sreedharan commenced his career as a Lecturer at Government Polytechnic. He later underwent an apprenticeship at Bombay Port Trust. Concurrently, he prepared for the UPSC examination, clearing it in 1953 and subsequently being appointed as a Probationary Assistant Engineer in the Southern Railways.

Entrusted with the profound responsibility of designing, planning, and executing the Kolkata Metro, Sreedharan emerged as a transformative force in Indian infrastructure. 

Serving as the Deputy Chief Engineer from 1970 to 1975, he not only built the Kolkata Metro from scratch but also illuminated a path toward contemporary urban development.

His elevation to the role of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Konkan Railway in 1990 marked a new chapter. Despite daunting challenges, the project spanned seven years of technological transformation. 

Pioneering methods, novel technologies, and innovative paradigms were harnessed as the project spanned 760 km, encompassing over 150 bridges and 93 tunnels.

The Central Government’s decision to retain Sreedharan beyond his initial retirement date in 1990 bestowed India with a plethora of exceptional public transport possibilities. 

The crowning achievement of Sreedharan’s legacy remains the Delhi Metro. A paragon of his ingenuity, the Delhi Metro stands as an iconic exemplar for metro systems across the nation.

Sreedharan’s achievements were recognized through esteemed awards: the Padma Shree from the Govt. of India in 2001, the Order of Legion d’Honneur in 1950 from France, and the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2008, the highest civilian award in India.

The spirit to work anywhere under any circumstances and get the work done has made him successful in his work throughout his life.

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