Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, also known as the 'Metro Man', is an Indian engineer who was instrumental in building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro. He also laid down the foundation of modern infrastructure engineering in India.
He began his career as a civil engineering lecturer at a government college. After a short stint there, he joined the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) in 1953.
However, his proficiency as an engineer came to the fore only 10 years later, when he was put in charge of repairing a bridge in Tamil Nadu that had been damaged by a cyclone in 1964.
The Railways had set a target of six months for the work to be completed. Sreedharan, however, executed the task in just 45 days, following which he was made in charge of planning and designing the Kolkata metro, the first-ever metro in India.
Over the next several years, he played a pioneering role in reforming India's public transport system and continued to serve the sector even after his retirement.
Throughout his career, which spanned over five decades, he completed a number of projects including the Delhi Metro, Konkan Railway, Kochi Metro among others and was always lauded for accomplishing the tasks within the stipulated time.
For his immense contribution to the field of engineering, he has received a number of national and international awards including the Padma Shri in 2001 , Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2005 and Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
In 2021, Sreedharan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2021 Kerala Legislative Assembly election. Although he contested the election he lost to Shafi Parambil from the Indian National Congress after a close battle.