Sreedharan calls it a day; Mangu Singh new DMRC chief

'Metro Man' E Sreedharan today handed over the baton to his colleague Mangu Singh after a momentous 16-year tenure as Managing Director of Delhi Metro during which he constructed and spread the network far and wide across the National Capital Region.

79-year-old Sreedharan, architect of the Konkan Railway project who joined the Delhi Metro in 1995, retired after 16 years of service in the Delhi Metro. His successor Singh has worked closely with him during the construction of the Metro network in the capital.

The 'Metro Man', who joined the Indian Railways in 1953, flew in from Chennai this evening and formally handed over the charge to Singh, 56, who oversaw the high-speed Airport Metro Express Corridor, at a brief ceremony at the 'Metro Bhawan'.

Sreedharan, credited with restoring the Pamban Bridge in Rameshwaram washed away in 1963 floods in Tamil Nadu in just 46 days, retired after having worked in government service for over 58 years of which 16 years he spent in Delhi Metro.

The technocrat not only built the Metro network in Delhi but was instrumental in expanding the network across the NCR with satellite cities like Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon getting the modern transport system. From 8 km in 2002, Delhi Metro now has a network of 190 km and carries two million passengers every day. During his 16-year tenure, Sreedharan also brought in a system at the organisation which is known for completing its project well before schedule.

His successor Singh is an Indian Railways Service of Engineers (IRSE) officer of the 1981 batch and worked with Sreedharan in the Kolkata Metro project. He has been associated with the Delhi Metro since its inception.

Singh, who oversaw the high-speed Airport Express Line, is Sreedharan's choice as the 'Metro Man' wanted an engineer of repute to take charge. Singh is an Indian Railways Service of Engineers (IRSE) officer of the 1981 batch. He is also in-charge of the Delhi Metro's Phase-III that envisages bringing another 103 km of the capital under the Metro network.

The engineer is also in-charge for consultancy works undertaken by Delhi Metro for planning Metro systems in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Kochi. Under Sreedharan's leadership, the Delhi Metro grew leaps and bounds since it began operations in 2002 with its network now spreading across the National Capital Region.

After its launch in 2002, Delhi Metro slowly added several corridors to its network over the years thus bringing satellite cities of Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad closer to the national capital. The first ever Metro service was started on December 24, 2002 between Shahdara and Tis Hazari and the ridership has increased leaps and bounds over the nine years to reach 20 lakh passengers a day.

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