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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Book Review: Karmayogi - A Biography of E Sreedharan

Karmayogi tells the awe-inspiring story of one of India’s greatest engineers & sons, the Metro Man, E Sreedharan. I loved his biography as it filled me with positivity & hope

In a 50 year accomplished and illustrious career, Sreedharan undertook gigantic projects, battled cultural lethargy and cut through red tape to build facilities that millions of Indians benefit from everyday. Some of the most challenging projects he led include the rebuilding of the Pampan Bridge in record time, Konkan Railways & Delhi Metro. He has won numerous national & international awards including the prestigious Padma Shri & Padma Vibhushan. Such a towering role model also highly deserves the Bharat Ratna

In his long career spanning projects across India, he had numerous tussles with politicians & those in authority who sought to intervene for selfish & political reasons. He rightfully asserted his position on the strength of his credentials & overcame hurdles while successfully finishing his undertakings with diligence

There had been several plans to connect the Konkan region region with Bombay starting from 1894 but due to the immensity of the task owing to the treacherous terrain, it started materializing only after 1990 under the stewardship of Sreedharan. The Konkan Railway project completed 2 years later than the original deadline of 5 years due to grave political & regional issues which Sreedharan deftly surmounted. His rich expertise made him an obvious candidate to head the Delhi Metro project  in 1997 although he was well past 65. Though he retired from that role in 2011, he is still consulted for all the upcoming metro projects in India.

Sreedharan has been a vocal critic of the private public participation (PPP) model for metro projects.Despite his argument that 90% of metros around the world are operating under public ownership and his scathing criticism of the PPP model, Kamal Nath, then the Union Minister for Urban Development, favoured the PPP model while drawing up the government policy in 2013. His argument was that 18% of all metros worldwide being built operated on the PPP model

The book is engaging with interesting facts and figures:

The 760 km Konkan line runs through 59 stations spanning three States

The Konkan Railways track has 92 tunnels. The track length under tunnels is 84.8 kilometres

The Panvel Nadi Bridge built for the Konkan line is the tallest bridge in Asia. Its highest point is only 4 metres shorter than the Qutub Minar

Sreedharan had reverse clocks installed at offices & work sites of Konkan Railways & DMRC to give team members a sense of time ticking away, motivating them to head for their goals without delay

To monitor progress and to organize the planned tasks of the Sreedharan-led Delhi Metro, a software application called Primavera Project Planner 3.0 was used

Delhi Metro became one of the only 5 profitable metros of the roughly 200 metros operating around the world

The 16 kilometre stretch of the Calcutta Metro took 22 years to complete. It exceeded cost estimates by a factor of 14.

The biggest of all metros in the world with the largest number of stations the longest track is the New York city Subway - 338 kilometres with 468 stations.

Beijing Metro stands first in terms of number of passengers transported daily

The London metro is the oldest

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