THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: So how does ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan’s new tryst with the United Nations’ High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport bring benefit to the capital city? With the Light Metro project proposed for the city, the findings of the team may bring home lessons of sustainable transport, a more viable way of operating a mass transit system.
Rather than solely relying on the revenue the ticket fares may yield from the passengers, the real thinking lies ‘out of the box’, to bring in more sustainability into the picture.
“Apart from the normal ticket charges, there are ways to bring extra revenue through advertisements, parking fee and commercial exploitation of surplus land,” said Sreedharan, DMRC’s principal advisor, at an interactive session with students organised at Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology here on Tuesday. He feels Light Metro is suitable for the capital, which has a topography of steep slopes and flat areas.
The prospective engineers were eager to know how he worked magic with every project he undertook despite the different conditions.
Of course, when the Delhi Metro Rail project came up, his sole predecessor in the country was the Calcutta Metro, which started off in the 1970s and ended after 17 years, causing a 14-times cost escalation by the time it was over.
So, with that kind of a model before him, so much professional competence and social responsibility went into his approach towards Delhi Metro for its timely completion.
“The phase one of Delhi Metro was completed in two years and nine months, much ahead of the 10 years’ time allotted.
The sense of social responsibility was behind this. The thought went like this: the money spent by the government belongs to the public,” said Sreedharan.
When the Metro mechanism became functional and operates 3,200 services a day now, it maintains 99.97-per cent punctuality. Thus, Sreedharan advised student engineers to maintain punctuality, integrity, professional competence and social responsibility with good health to make greater strides in professional life.