“May his vision fire the imagination of people across India,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after laying the foundation stone for the Kochi Metro Rail at a grand function held in the city on Thursday.
A calm and composed ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan sat smiling in the front row of select officials. The Prime Minister’s speech and those of the high-profile dignitaries not only highlighted the necessity of a Metro rail in a fast-developing city like Kochi, but also stressed on the importance of carrying forward the project the ‘Sreedharan Way’.
The name of E Sreedharan, the master craftsmen behind the success of Delhi Metro, is very familiar among Kochiites. But how much they trust him for the completion of the Kochi Metro project was evident during the function as he received laurels from the audience. Whenever his name was mentioned, a huge applause echoed at the venue.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Metro Man’s contributions to Delhi Metro is stupendous. The third and fourth phases of Delhi Metro Rail are expected to be completed in 2016 and 2021 respectively.
While chronicling the journey of Kochi Metro Rail till date, Defence Minister A K Antony too fondly remembered the first presentation on Metro Rail made by E Sreedharan nine years ago. Antony was the then Chief Minister. “Sreedharan’s decision-making and the management principles will help in the timely completion of the project in a time-bound manner,” Antony said.
Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas also stressed on the importance of the guidance and advice of E Sreedharan to roll out the project. The other speakers including Union Minister for Indian Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Power and Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed also emphasised the contributions of E Sreedharan to Metro Rail.