With the intention of reducing his work load , 85 year old Sreedharan visited UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath last month to offer his resignation from the role of advisor to the Lucknow and Kanpur Metro projects.
But he returned Kochi with more work .
“He (Adityanath) said ‘I’m not allowing you to resign. In fact I’m also adding Varanasi, Agra and Meerut… and also Gorakhpur’,” said Sreedharan on Thursday afternoon.
Sreedharan, known as Metro Man said “the first phase of the 10.5-km line of the Lucknow Metro is ready and waiting for inspection from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety”.
Sreedharan said that “the depot is ready in Kanpur and project report of the Varanasi Metro is ready but has to be revised”.
“Yogi wasn’t happy with the report. He doesn’t want any kind of construction to come up near the temple. It’s going to be underground and should be a light metro — fewer coaches with less vibration and noise.” he added.
While many cities are working on Metro projects, Sreedharan believes there is still a long way to go.
“China is constructing 300 km every year, we are only doing 22 km. If cities have to survive, it is essential to have the Metro. We should do at least 200 km per year.”
Regarding rumours of his presidential nomination, he laughed and said “You can’t be the president of a country at 85!”