Inspiring Indians - Dr E Shreedharan

Early life

E. Sreedharan was born in a modest family of Pallakad, Kerala. After attending Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School there he studied at the Victoria College in Palghat and then graduated as an engineer from the Government Engineering College, Kakinada.


After a short tenure as a lecturer in Civil engineering at the Government Polytechnic, Kozhikode and a year at the Bombay Port Trust as an apprentice, he joined the Indian Railways in its Service of Engineers. In December 1954.

He retired from Indian Railways as Member Engineering in 1990 and was appointed the CMD of Konkan Railway  in 1990. 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 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. Followed by the Grand success of Konkan Railway He was made the managing director of Delhi Metro and by mid-2005.Which he still continues to be which is considered the Best Public transport system project post Independence.


Sreedharan was given the sobriquet of Metro Man by the media. In 2005, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the government of France. The other awards bestowed on him are:

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) 
  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

Dr Sreedharan is also on the advisory board  at a new Foundation for the Restoration of National Values. Mr. Ratan Tata and a former chief justice of India are servingmembers. The foundation aims to "bring in good values in all areas of national life.”

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