E. Sreedharan, retired IES (IRSE) officer who is popularly known as the "Metro Man" won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Republic-Open Magazine Achievers Awards 2019 on Monday. He received the award, that honoured his contribution towards changing the face of public transport in India, from Sanjiv Goenka, the Chairman of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, and Republic TV's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami.
In his acceptance speech, E. Sreedharan initially made a humble mention about the eminent nominees for the Lifetime Achievement Award that included Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, Father of the Green Revolution in India M.S Swaminathan, prominent sitar artiste Kartick Kumar, and famed woman cricketer Diana Edulji among others.
Later, Mr Sreedharan went on to assert what he had achieved in his life was not due to individual effort, but a team effort that changed how people look at public transportation now. He credited the award to his team who have been with him throughout his journey.
"I want to remind you what all I have achieved - either the completion of the Konkan railway or the Delhi Metro or for starting a metro revolution in the country as such - this is not the achievement of one individual, this is a teamwork and I very humbly receive this award on behalf of the team that has helped me achieve this great award. What I have been able to do is not merely teamwork but also a divine grace," he said.
E. Sreedharan is the man who has revolutionized the way public transportation in Delhi with the development of metro in the national capital. It was because of his leadership skills that the Delhi metro Phase 1 and Phase 2, a nearly 200 km network was completed in time. He served as the Chief advisor for proposed Lucknow Metro project and Principal Advisor of the Kochi Metro Rail Project. While Mr Sreedharan took retirement from Indian Railways as Member Engineering in 1990, he was later appointed as the CMD of Konkan Railway on contract basis in 1990. He then completed India’s first major project under BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis. After being widely acclaimed for Konkan project, Sreedharan was made the MD of Delhi metro.