E Sreedharan was Popularly known as ‘Metro Man’, he has changed not only the face but also the heart and soul of public transport of our country for the long decades. With his leadership in the construction of the Delhi Metro and Konkan Railway, the 85-year-old Padma Shri, Sreedharan has taken the standards of public transport in India to an altogether new level.
A former Indian Engineering Services (IES) officer, Sreedharan had been serving as Chief Advisor of Lucknow Metro and Kanpur Metro apart from having the responsibility of Jaipur Metro, Visakhapatnam Metro, Vijayawada Metro, Kochi Metro, Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and United Nations’s High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST).
Recently, E Sreedharan met Yogi Adityanath to resign from his responsibility of adviser to the Kanpur and Lucknow metro projects with an intention of reducing his workload but returned with added duties.
“He (Adityanath) said ‘I’m not allowing you to resign. In fact, I’m also adding Varanasi, Agra and Meerut… and also Gorakhpur’,” said Sreedharan, seated in the conference room of the DMRC office in Kochi, on Thursday afternoon.
Sreedharan informed that survey for metro project in Gorakhpur, Agra, and Meerut has already begun and the first phase of 10.5 km metro line in Lucknow is ready for inspection by the commissioner of metro rail safety. In Kanpur, the depot is ready whereas, for Varanasi Metro, the project report is ready but needs revision.
The Indian Express quotes E Sreedharan saying,
“Yogi wasn’t happy with the report. He doesn’t want any kind of construction to come up near the temple. It’s going to be underground and should be a light metro — fewer coaches with less vibration and noise.” China is constructing 300 km every year, we are only doing 22 km. If cities have to survive, it is essential to have the Metro. We should do at least 200 km per year.
Laughing off rumors surrounding his presidential nomination, Sreedharan said that he wasn’t approached and it was all a speculation by media. He said, “You can’t be the president of a country at 85“.