The Government of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on the metro man E Sreedharan for his contribution in strengthening Japan’s presence in India and promoting friendly relations between Japan and India through the Delhi Metro Project, which he conceived, structured and implemented. Sreedharan who is now serving as the principal adviser to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) received the insignia and certificate from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo- Abe at a ceremony that was held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo the other day.
After receiving the award, Sreedharan attributed the honour to the entire Delhi Metro family and said that he has been conferred with the award because of the achievements of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Born in Palakkad in 1932, Sreedharan joined the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) in 1954. He was the managing director of DMRC from 1997 to the end of 2011.
During these 14 years, he played the lead role in carrying the Delhi Metro project forward with the support of the official development assistance (ODA) from the Government of Japan. He not only adopted Japanese technologies and experiences in the field of energy savings, rails and consulting, but also implemented the unique Japanese labour cultures such as ‘no-ki (strict observance of schedules)’ into the metro construction sites in Delhi.
Based on the success of the Delhi Metro with the cooperation of Japan, the ODA from Japan was introduced for financing the metro projects in urban cities such as Chennai and Bangalore. Sreedharan was also conferred with a number of prestigious awards including the ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour, France’, in 2005 and Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008. Reports also suggest that he is the choicest Union Railway Minister of Narendra Modi, to which Sreedharan never reacted earlier.