As the country gears up for the next Presidential polls, ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan name gets propped up in a rather unconventional tone. Indian Today has reported sources as saying that there is a “strong possibility” of the Metro Man being nominated as the NDA Presidential candidate. Showcasing India as pro-innovation country, free from political and bureaucratic hurdles with schemes like Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India etc, the current landscape gives enough impetus to his candidature.
He not only changed the face of public transportation with the Konkan Railways and Kolkata Metro Rail, but also gave credible importance in resolving national issues. Consider the national railway strike in 1974 for instance: The 20-day strike by 1.7 million workers is perhaps the largest strike to hit Indian Railways till date but at that time, Sreedharan was busy designing a Metro rail network in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and therefore refused to halt his work. Then, in the build-up to the first Gulf War, there was fuel shortage in several countries around the globe, including India. The only project that managed to stand up against all odds at that point in time was the construction of Konkan Railway, headed by Sreedharan.
“He had factored in all permutations and combinations, insulating the project from any hurdles by setting up petrol pumps with back-up supplies,” Aklekar writes. One would assume that Sreedharan — a man so dedicated to his cause and service — must have had a tough family life. But surprisingly, the “Metro Man” maintained a cordial balance between his work and family. In the biography, his daughter Shanthi Menon shares personal insights about her father, including how Sreedharan values family life and is involved in every small decision that is taken, paying attention to even the smallest needs of his grandchildren.