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Two Great Bureaucrats

Use the word impossible with great caution. Only those who can risk going too far can see how far they can really go.

So here we have two bureaucrats who did exactly the same. One is Mr T N Sheshan, whom we all know as the man who made the Indian public aware about the existence of an autonomous body called the “Election Commission of India” which conducts the world’s largest democratic elections.

But today’s blog is about Mr. Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, a class mate of Mr T N Sheshan and another great bureaucrat of India. One of his greatest achievements, the world class Delhi Metro.

Here is a list of facts about the Delhi Metro project undertaken by Mr.Sreedharan who is a veteran of the Indian Railways

  • A project which is three years ahead of its Schedule!! Can anyone imagine this for a government project in India? Well, that is Mr Sreedharan
  • Everyday for 16 hours 240 cars of the Delhi metro roll quietely beneath the great Indian capital Delhi
  • The trains are new, arrive on time, stations are clean and the system is profitable
  • The average number of days for the metro tenders was 19 days, compared to 3 to 9 months what other government tenders take!
  • The metro carriages were assembled in the silicon valley of India, Bangalore and rolled on Indian railways straight to the delhi metro
  • Thanks to the metro and its 500,000 commuters per day, the pollution levels of the most polluted city in India have come down by a third and the traffic congestions on the city’s roads have eased out considerably

Having seen the london metro, I personally feel that the Delhi metro is leaps ahead in terms of the quality of service and its ease of use..

Well, Mr Sreedharan before undertaking the Delhi Metro project had built 470 mile konkan railways in the Indian west coast. I simply love the journey in this green route which passes near my native!!

One of the things that makes me like him a lot is that he enjoys breaking the rules when they just amount to an overhead. When he took over the project to build an IT park outside Delhi, the required permissions from other departments were coming in very slow, and Mr Sreedharan simply went ahead and got things done without waiting for the permission papers to arrive!!! Process compliance? Well, process should simplify things and increase the pace of the project, else say goodbye to it, like our gurubhai did ;-)

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Gurudev is the developer of Gurunudi AI Platform. This is his official website where he pens his thoughts on a wide range of topics, answers queries, shares resources and tools developed by him.


  1. It is true that Delhi Metro is one of the best in the World. Mayor Blomberg of NYC recently suggested that Delhi metro is one of the inspirations for the changes to the NYC subway system. It would be great if other cities in India also implement this system. As for Mr. T.N. Sheshan – does anyone know what he is doing these days?



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