Born On: 12th June, 1932
Born In: Palakkad, Kerala
Career: Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
Elattuvalapilan Sreedharan is an Indian advocate of technocracy who is famous for the completion of both the Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro Rail projects within the given budget and well on time. He is amongst the top leading celebrities in the Project Management sector and is popularly known as the 'Metro Man of India' for his outstanding role in constructing the Delhi Metro Rail. He possesses effective leadership skills and has been called the architect of the Konkan Railway Project. He is a modest personality who finishes work with complete devotion and zeal. When it comes to the performance of a task, he is focused and determined to achieve. In spite of crossing the age of seventy, he is still active and endowed with strong will power. When a bridge that was a part of the Delhi Metro collapsed, E. Sreedharan put down his papers, but Shiela Dixit, the Chief Minister of Delhi rejected his resignation letter and he remained the Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Early Life: E. Sreedharan was born on 12th June, 1932 in the Palakkad district of Kerala. His family hails from Karukaputhoor, Palakkad district, Kerala. He completed his studies at the Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School and then went to the Victoria College in Palghat. He later on completed his Civil Engineering from the Government Engineering College, Kakinada (known as JNTU). He married a woman named Radha and the couple together had four children.
Career: E. Sreedharan started his career as a Probationary Assistant Engineer in the Southern Railways. He also worked at the Bombay Port Trust as a trainee for one year. In 1963, E. Sreedharan was put in-charge of the rebuilding of the Pamban Bridge, because a tidal wave carried away the part of the bridge that connected Rameshwaram with Tamil Nadu. He completed the construction of the bridge in only forty-six days though he was given six months to do the same. This achievement was admired quite a lot. He was the Managing Director and Chairman of the Cochin Ship Yard and he was the one who commissioned Rani Padmini, the first ship built by the yard. He was also connected with India's first Metro Rail project in Kolkata. In 1981, he started working as the Chief Engineer in the Southern Railways and worked with the same for seven years. In 1987, he became the General Manager of the Southern Railways. In 1989, E. Sreedharan became a member of the Railway Board. However, in 1990 he retired from the Indian Railways and in the same year the Government of India made him the Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railways. Under his supervision the first important project of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) in India was completed. The entire project enclosed an area of 760 km with 93 tunnels and 150 bridges. In 1997, E. Sreedharan was made the Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the project was completed well in time. It thus became a milestone in the history of the Indian Railways.
Awards and Accolades: E. Sreedharan received the Railway Minister's Award in 1963. In 2001, he was honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India and in 2002 he received the award for the Man of the Year by the Times of India and the Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for professional excellence in engineering. In 2003, he was given the title of one of Asia's Heroes by the TIME magazine and was given the All India Management Association Award for Public Service Excellence. He received the Confederation of Indian Industry Juror's Award for leadership in Infrastructure Development (2002-03). E. Sreedharan has also been honored with the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor). It is the most prestigious award that a civilian can receive from the Government of France. In 2008, he was honored with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India and in 2009 he received a D.Litt. from the Rajasthan Technical University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Honoriscausa) from IIT Roorkee.
E. Sreedharan has added a lot of value to India's public transport system, mainly the Indian Railways and the Delhi metro. He is the one who changed the scenario of Delhi by completing the metro project well before time. Today, the project has made the life of people living in Delhi very easy and comfortable. Apart from this, he also made the distance from Mumbai to Kochi shorter by building tunnels and bridges.
Timeline 1932: Born in Palakkad, Kerala.
1954: Becomes Probationary Assistant Engineer in the Southern Railways.
1963: Gets the Railway Minister's Award and is made in made in charge of rebuilding of Pamban Bridge.
1981: Becomes the Chief Engineer of the Southern Railways.
1987: Becomes the General Manager of the Southern Railways.
1989: Is a Member of the Railway Board.
1990: Retires from the Indian Railways and becomes the Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railways.
1997: Becomes the Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
2001: Is Honored with the Padma Shri.
2002: Receives by the Man of the Year Award by the Times of India and Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for professional excellence in engineering.
2003: Gets the title of Asia's Hero by TIME Magazine and receives an All India Management Association award for Public Service Excellence.
2005: Receives the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) by the Government of France and Bharat Shiromani Award from the Shiromani Institute, Chandigarh.
2008: Honored with Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.