Metro man E Sreedharan, who was recently in the news when the Kochi metro train was launched, has revealed that he wanted to resign from the role of advisor to the Lucknow and Kanpur Metro projects but ended up with more work. According to a report by The Indian Express, Sreedharan who is 85 years old wanted to reduce his workload and visited the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath with the same aim but returned to Kochi with more work. ” He (Adityanath) said ‘I’m not allowing you to resign. In fact I’m also adding Varanasi, Agra and Meerut… and also Gorakhpur’,” said Sreedharan, seated in the conference room of the DMRC office in Kochi, on Thursday afternoon.
Giving an update on the work, Sreedharan said while surveys have begun in Gorakhpur, Agra and Meerut, the first phase of the 10.5-km line of the Lucknow Metro is ready and waiting for inspection from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety. He added that the Kanpur depot is ready and the project report of the Varanasi Metro is ready as well but has to be revised. “Yogi wasn’t happy with the report. He doesn’t want any kind of construction to come up near the temple. It’s going to be underground and should be a light metro — fewer coaches with less vibration and noise,” Sreedharan added.
Even though many main cities of India are working on Metro projects, Sreedharan believes India still has a long way to go before it can reach the level of some other countries. “China is constructing 300 km every year, we are only doing 22 km. If cities have to survive, it is essential to have the Metro. We should do at least 200 km per year,” he said. There were also rumours that Sreedharan could be NDA candidate for the Presidential election but Ram Nath Kovin was elected instead. However, the metro man dismissed any such reports by saying, “I was never approached…it was all media speculation. You can’t be the president of a country at 85!”