Saturday, October 20, 2012

Is the Metro Man E. Sreedharan arrogant?

A few in the media and others seem to be trying their best to make him so.

Who is E. Sreedharan? Why should he be arrogant? I think he is not a man familiar just to the Keralites but to the majority of Indians.

Konkan Railway ( A Forbes article on him)

The managing director is 77 years old, spiritual and is laying tracks like there's no tomorrow.

On a recent Saturday morning Elattuvalapil Sreedharan arrived at a dusty construction site on the outskirts of Delhi to check on the progress of India's first high-speed airport train. In spite of round-the-clock work, progress on boring a huge tunnel into the earth was not up to mark.
"This we discussed. I gave them guidelines," says the soft-spoken 77-year-old engineer who is managing director of Delhi Metro, the capital's gleaming subway system. After finding out that a contractor was stymied by a cash flow problem, Sreedharan freed up Delhi Metro funds to pay for materials so work could continue.

This is the kind of no-nonsense, bureaucracy-busting efficiency that is Sreedharan's hallmark. It helped him to accomplish what had seemed impossible in India: finish building the initial $2.3 billion subway system in 2005 under budget and almost three years ahead of schedule.

Though he retired, the Government needed his services and he was appointed the CMD of Konkan Railway on contract in 1990 by the then railway minister, George Fernandes. Under his stewardship, the company executed its mandate in seven years. The project was unique in many respects. It was the first major project in India to be undertaken on a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis; the organisation structure was different from that of a typical Indian Railway set-up; the project had 93 tunnels along a length of 82 km and involved tunneling through soft soil. The total project covered 760 km and had over 150 bridges. That a public sector project could be completed without significant cost and time overruns was considered an achievement by many.

Awards and accolades
  • Railway Minister's Award (1963)
  • Padma Shri by the Government of India (2001)
  • Man of the Year by The Times of India (2002)
  • Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for professional excellence in engineering (2002)
  • CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Juror's Award for leadership in infrastructure development (2002–03)
  • One of Asia's Heroes by TIME (2003)
  • AIMA (All India Management Association) award for Public Service Excellence (2003)
  • Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris causa) from IIT Delhi.
  • Bharat Shiromani award from the Shiromani Institute, Chandigarh (2005)
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the government of France (2005)
  • CNN-IBN Indian Of the Year 2007: Public Service (2008)[7]
  • Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India (2008) 51525
  • D.Lit. By Rajasthan Technical University, Kota, Rajasthan, in 2009
  • Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris causa) from IIT Roorkee, 2009.
Pampan Bridge

Konkan Railway Bridge

Does he have a right to be arrogant? Of course yes! Who has a problem with it? Not the ordinary Keralites but a few with vested interests. While the Kerala ministers swear to the Keralites that they need him, behind the curtains they are doing their best to keep him out of the Cochin Metro project. If he is there how shall they benefit from this big project. Right now there is a lot of confusion and one is made to believe that DMRC itself does not want him!

Nothing good comes to Kerala, not even the service of an exemplary man who belongs to the state of Kerala.

I pray that Keralites protest hard and make sure this man heads this project else the project is doomed... only cash shall flow.


  1. When I was watching the Asianet news this morning on the subject, I anticipated a post from you.( Perhaps you lost out from being a good journalist).

    Why did not the late Kurian ( Amul) go to Kerala and replicate his magic? He was right when he said that was because Kerala had too many Kurians. Kerala has too many Sreedharans to, Sreedharans who want to have their finger in every pie available.
    Is it not true that nothing good will come to Kerala because of the sickening Mallu mindset.
    He , Mr Sredharan has every right to be arrogant . Especially when he has to deal with the Pinarayis, the Chandis and the Kunnjalis. A bunch of impertinent rascals and thieves.

    1. Anil.. yes, it would have been job after my heart..the right degree, training and enough experience would have made a not-so-bad journalist out of me :)

      Kurian said it right... too many people who want their finger in every pie. Pinarayi, Chandi and Kunnjali shows their true colors yet again...

      But where is the real protest even after Sreedharan requested the same from the people. He wanted the people to protest against the delay in the project.

    2. but no media gives the freedom to express like this blog!

  2. You think there will be a mass movement in Kerala?
    If you do, I would call it the audacity of optimism. If Swami Vivekandan observed almost a century ago that Kerala was a mental asylum, it stays more true this day.

    1. :) just a faint hope.. but as you said Kerala is a mental asylum and it would be a miracle if we get Sreedharan after a mass protest.

  3. There is no mass movement in Kerala, young generation have no interest in politics or development, they just want some fancy cars and gadgets, and want to drive with their ears plugged with music without caring anyone and no civic sense.
    Another bunch is waking up to sun just thinking about todays boozing and spend their valuable time near beverages outlets from morning to evening.
    Even Kochin people doesnt want metro, media, newspapers especially manorama spread different news each day. The textile shops and business men dont want metro to disturb their encroachments.
    Ummen Chandy is behaving like he doesnt know anything about teething problems of Kerala. We need a Karunakaran who can take action as in case of Kochi cricket stadium or Nedumbaseri ariport, not a Ummen Chandy who pay second fiddle to League.

    Only VS Achuthanandan can do some miracle it seems . Sreedharan can make more wonders in India but not in Kerala.

    Remember that while discussing for Hyd Metro he informed vigilance that Satyam Raju was more interested in real estate than metro , if govt had taken some action that time Satyam scandal never could have happened.

    1. Susheelan: You are right.. one is forced to blv that the young generation has lost interest in politics or development. Recently I heard that children as young as 12 are addicted to alcohol in Kerala!

      Yes Karunakaran was truly a leader for action if we can forget other vices that affect our politician. VS does make the right noises but he is not liked even by his own party. When everyone knows that the party would need him until he dies, it is pathetic to see how it behaves. The recent "apology" incident only ended up throwing up more mud on the party and not on VS. VS continued with his stance and even called TP a martyr. He also added that Pinarayi did wrong in calling him a Kulamkuthi.. it was not an apology at all.

      I continue to hope that the Metro Man will join the metro team.

  4. Good and honest people are not honoured in this may be any state.its the same.

    1. Renu: It is very true.. it is only when they die we hear great eulogies from those who tried their best to pull them down. Sad it is.


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