The ‘Metro Man of India’ Padma Vibhushan Dr E Sreedharan recently suggested a sustainable future model for the Indian metro claiming that, “The investment for metro projects in our country is meager. Metro rail still is not being treated as a social need in urban areas. The government needs to re-look at the way it is funding metro projects and treat it similarly to how it would fund any other national project.”.
He pressed upon the point that, “The Government of India should be the main engine pushing the metro construction in the country. I strongly advocate metro systems be brought under the Centre’s list, and a separate ministry should manage it.”.
With the aim of encouraging innovations and the latest technologies to make metro projects more sustainable in India, METRO RAIL CONFERENCE 2023 organized by FIRST Construction Council invited industry leaders at this distinctive summit to discuss topics related to latest opportunities in the Indian metro industry, Make in India, latest innovations and technologies coming into the Indian metro rail sector.
The ‘metro man’ also asserted that, “Achieving sustainability in metro projects will not be a problem. The key is to reduce the capital expenditure. Metros are highly capital-intensive with 50% of the investments being on the civil construction, and the government should provide funds for the same.
Dr. Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, widely hailed as the Metro Man of India, is responsible for single-handedly rewriting the country’s urban transport story. The speedy restoration of the Pamban bridge (1963), which connects Rameswaram to mainland Tamil Nadu, stands out among one of many stunning engineering feats that collectively showcase his credentials.
Dr. Sreedharan joined the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on November 5, 1997 as its first Managing Director. Since then, he has been instrumental in ensuring the timely completion of all the scheduled construction works. As the train network expanded across the NCR to cover about 190 km, Dr. Sreedharan’s name became significant with respect to Delhi Metro. The media was prompt in naming and popularizing him as the ‘Metro Man’.
He was also involved in the Konkan Railway project and, towards the tail end of his career, he was in charge of the Delhi Metro project and retired as its chief in 2011. He has received many laurels and awards in recognition of his performance, including the prestigious Padma Yibhushan (2008). Padma Shri (2001) and Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French Government (2005).