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Born at Thirthala on 12-06-1932, Sreedharan studied at Palakkad and finished engineering at Kakinada.Former CEC T N Sheshan was his classmate till intermediate. For a short period, Sreedharan worked as a lecturer in Civil engineering at the Government Polytechnic, Calicut and a year at the Bombay Port Trust as an apprentice. He joined Bharatiya Railways after clearing UPSC Exams in 1953.
Bharat and Srilanka had a train service between them. Severe cyclone destroyed the services damaging infrastructure at Dhanushkodi and Pamban, while the Train to Srilanka never resumed, Pamban was made ready in a record time.
The IR gave 6 months, Sreedharan’s boss gave 3 months and Sreedharan completed in
46 Days and received Railway Minister’s Award.
In 1970, as the deputy chief engineer, he was put in charge of the implementation, planning and design of the Calcutta metro, the first ever metro in Bharat.
In 1975 Communists removed him as he didn’t approve their Disruption. He next joined Cochin Ship Yard in 1979 as CMD and in 1981 under his leadership MV Rani Padmini which was on paper for years saw its launch. He had promotions in IR and retired in 1990 as Member Engineering, Railway Board and ex-officio Secretary to the Govt of India.
Sreedharan couldn’t enjoy his retirement as Railway Minister George Fernandes appointed Sreedharan as CMD for Konkan Railway. Under Sreedharan,the company executed its mandate in 7 Yrs. It was the first major project in Bharat 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 tunnelling 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.
(The result when 2 Honest Men Work Together)
Konkan Railway has been covered in the Extreme Railways program by Chris Tarrant as 1 of the most difficult railway project to have been constructed in the world.
His Next project was Delhi.Thanks to Ex CM Sahib Singh Verma. Sreedharan was particularly known for isolating his projects from political pressures and influences and for fast execution of projects. He had announced that he would retire by the end of 2005, but his tenure was further extended to oversee the completion of the second phase of Delhi Metro. After 16 years of service with the Delhi Metro. Sreedharan retired on 31 December 2011.
After his retirement from DMRC, Sreedharan joined as Principal Advisor of the Kochi Metro Rail Project.Initially, V S Achuthanandan led Communist govt tried to swallow money by calling Global Tenders, when Sridharan refused & subsequent opposition from all, he reversed his stand.
Kochi metro was finally unveiled on 17 June 2017, it was considered a landmark event in India in terms of completion time, control systems used & initiatives such as employing transgender people, vertical gardening, respecting migrant labourers, and use of solar power.
Metroman is married to Radha and has 4 children.