E Sreedharan, who played a pivotal role behind Delhi metro, had apparently found no place in the PMO list of personalities who will share the stage with beside Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Kochi Metro inauguration on June 17. Kerala government has shot off letters to PMO asking it to accommodate three more dignitaries, including DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan in the list. Sreedharan, popularly known as Metro man, however sought to play down the issue saying the prime minister’s security is more important. In an interview to local daily Mathrubhumi, he said that there was no need to raise controversy over this issue. He also said that he was not hurt at all.
Kerala government had submitted a list of 17 people whom it wanted to be at the statge with PM Modi during the inauguration event, to PMO for approval. It had said that the list included Sreedharan, Chennithala, Thomas and Chief Secretary Nailin Netto, among others, according to IE report. As per the approved list from the PMO, the prime minister, governor, chief minister, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, K V Thomas, MP, state minister Thomas Chandy and Mayor Saumini Jain are the seven persons who will be on the dais at the inaugural function, according to an official release. Among them, PM Modi, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu will address the function, the report says.
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Subsequently, state Chief Secretary Nalini Netto had sent a letter to include names of the Opposition Leader in the State Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and P T Thomas, local MLA, in the list. It has been learned that even Kochi Metro Rail Ltd Managing Director Elias George, who will welcome the gathering, has not been permitted to be on the dais.
The inaugural function of the 13-km Aluva-Palarivattom corridor will be held at Aluva in Ernakulam district. Kochi Metro, which secured the green signal from rail safety panel, had begun service trials recently on the corridor. Weathering the harsh monsoons and labour strikes, 81-year old Sreedharan had overseen the entire project from conceiving to executing, to gift Kochi the same state-of-the-art Metro service that he had earlier gave Delhi.