E Sreedharan; popularly known as the "Metro Man" is a retired Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer . He is acknowledged for changing the face of public transportation in India for building the Konkan Railway route and the Delhi Metro.
- Full name: Dr. Elattuvalapil Sreedharan
- Born: 12 June 1932, Palakkad district, Kerala, India.
- Studied Civil engineering at Government Engineering College, Andhra Pradesh.
- Worked as a lecturer in Civil engineering at Government Polytechnic, Kozhikode for a short tenure.
- Later, Shreedharan joined the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), after clearing Engineering Service Examination in 1953.
- Awards: Padma Shri (2001), Padma Vibhushan (2008)
- Named one of Asia's Heroes by TIME magazine in 2003
Mind blowing Achievements of Dr. E. Shreedharan
1. The Pamban Bridge
Date: 22nd of December in 1964
Location: Rameshwaram town
the coastal town of Rameshwaram was hit by a deadly cyclone on 22nd December 1964.
As a sideshow, the cyclone destroyed the only bridge connecting Rameshwaram to mainland India: the Pamban Bridge. Now Rameshwaram was completely isolated.
At that time, Dr. Sreedharan was a Deputy Engineer in the Southern Railway. And this damage was in his territory. Indian Railways gave E. Sreedharan 6 months to re-establish connectivity to Rameshwaram.
Dr. Sreedharan finished the project in just 46 days.
Dr. Shreedharan took one month and 15 days to reconstruct the Pamban bridge back to full operation. It was India’s longest sea bridge for 96 years, till the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was inaugurated in 2008.
- According to the government rules, Dr. Sreedharan had to retire in 1990 when he completed 60 years of age.
But, when you are Dr. Sreedharan, you don’t have the privilege of retirement.
2. Konkan Railway:
Dr. E. Shreedharan was asked to go to Mumbai to take charge of what was then deemed to be India’s toughest project since independence. This region was the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, affectionately called, the Konkan.
This is what Dr. E Sreedharan had to do,
Lay 760 Kms of railway track, through a terrain that had mountainous terrain with rivers and this infested with snakes and other dangerous snacks and perennially at the risk of land sliding and slope failures
And to do that, E. Sreedharan had to-
1. Acquire 5000 hectares of land from 42,000 assorted land owners.
2. Build 2000 Bridges, both major and minor, across Marshes, swamps, rivers and backwaters.
3. Blast 92 tunnels, totaling 83 kilometers in length through Basalt, nature’s adamantium and soft soil, nature’s china clay. You need nuclear weapons and Arnold to bore through the former while the latter generally collapsed on itself if someone as much as farted.
And to complete all of the above tasks, Dr. Sreedharan, was given 8 years.
Dr. Sreedharan, supposedly retired and who qualified for Indian Railway’s senior citizen quota, finished the job in 7 years.
Dr. E. Shreedharan completed the railway's project that even the Britishers thought it was impossible.
Impacts of this project:
1. Three largest ports on the Indian coast: Mumbai, Karwar and Mangalore was connected directly for the first time.
2. The train travel time from the southern states to the north was reduced by up to 40 %.
- Nethravathi Express used to take 38 hours to travel from Trivandrum to Mumbai. Now the same train takes 22 Hours. A 16-hour reduction in travel time.
3. VIADUCT OVER THE PANVEL NADI:
The viaduct over the Panval river which basically is a Marsh between two Hills and to traverse it, the train has to travel at a height, which is as tall as Qutub Minar
In other words,
Dr. Sreedharan and his team, built a goddamn Qutub Minar, over a marsh, between two hills, just so that, a train could chug over it.
4. Delhi Metro
In December 1997, one year before the Konkan Railway was opened to traffic, he was moved to New Delhi to head a new organization. It was created to find a viable solution to the traffic woes of the national capital.
This organization was Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC).
Since Delhi Metro was not India’s first metro. Kolkata has that honor. But Kolkata’s metro construction story was a sorry tale.
1. It took 22 years to build the Kolkata Metro.
2. The Calcutta metro suffered from shortages in almost everything. Shortages of funds, shortages in labor and shortages in everything else. The only they had in plenty was those damn shortages.
But this was Dr. E Sreedharan.
Phase 1 of the 5 billion $ Delhi metro was completed three years before schedule, entirely within the initially stipulated budget without a single shard of corruption. In India, that is the closest we can get to walking on water.
The successful execution of the Delhi Metro made Dr. Sreedharan the torch bearer of the Metro Rail system in India. Every Indian city now wanted its own metro and Dr. E. Sreedharan as its consultant.