Kochi: Curtain came down on 'Metroman' E Sreedharan's 24-year long career with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation as he wore the DMRC's outdoor uniform one last time on Thursday ahead of his political journey with BJP.
"This will be the last day I will be wearing this uniform", 88-year old Sreedharan, acclaimed for the efficiency in completing big infrastructure projects, said announcing the completion of re-construction of a flyover here under his supervision much ahead of the stipulated time.
Clad in the DMRC outdoor uniform, the technocrat, who recently joined the BJP, visited the Palarivattom flyover on Thursday morning for an inspection before handing it over to the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDC) of the Kerala government for inauguration.
He said the flyover, whose reconstruction was taken up in September last year, was ready and the state government can decide the date of its inauguration.
"I wore the DMRC's typical outdoor uniform for the first time in November 1997 in Delhi. Same practice I continued for the last 24 years," Sreedharan said.
The "Metroman", who is prepared to contest the April 6 Kerala assembly polls on the BJP ticket, said he will file the nomination papers after resigning from the post of DMRC's Principal Adviser.
Sreedharan, now a member of the BJP state Election Committee, said he has requested the party leadership to field him from a constituency not far from his residence in Ponnani in Malappuram district.
Predicting a big victory for the BJP in the polls, the technocrat said his poll campaign style will be different from that of a normal politician.
"This is a digital age. So I will not be going from house to house or shop to shop (seeking votes). But I will reach every home, every person in the constituency with a message--what I am doing for the state," he said.
Sreedharan said he will showcase his professional competency and integrity among the voters for winning their support.
He said his age has not affected his health.
"Mentally I am very strong. I will not be working like a normal politician. I will still be working like a technocrat," Sreedharan said in response to a query on his age.
Sreedharan expressed confidence BJP will form the government in the state after the polls.
"People know very well what is good for them and what is good for the state. I am very confident that they will elect the BJP to power," he said.
Sreedharan, the principal adviser to the DMRC, was reluctant to take up the task of rebuilding the Palarivattom flyover which became defunct after cracks developed within a year of its inauguration in 2016 with alleged corruption in its construction during the previous Congress-led UDF rule.
The technocrat said he was very happy as the DMRC could complete the work of the flyover much ahead of the scheduled nine months time.
Sreedharan thanked the Uralungal Labour Contract Co- operative Society Ltd (ULCCS) for completing the work in a professional manner.
"I had given a word that the work would be completed in nine months. But they (Uralungal) completed the work very fast.. within five months and 10 days. Good finishing...good quality of construction.
"This is for the first time I am seeing a contracting firm working in a professional manner. They executed the project in a precise manner", Sreedharan said, hailing the society, allegedly close to the state's ruling CPI(M).
Sreedharan's comments praising the ULCCS did not go down well with the BJP as state party chief K Surendran said the technocrat may not be knowing about 'corruption' in the ULCSS.
"I am not saying that they (ULCCS) don't have technical capabilities. I am talking about its corruption. Sreedharan may not be knowing about it", Surendran told reporters in Alappuzha.
The DMRC had begun the reconstruction of the controversial Palarivattom flyover in September last year.
The Kerala government decided to demolish and reconstruct the flyover after it developed cracks and roped in Sreedharan to oversee the project execution.
Former minister V K Ebrahim Kunju was arrested on November 18 in connection with alleged corruption in the construction of the flyover during the previous Congress-led UDF rule when he was in-charge of PWD portfolio.
The Vigilance had alleged that Kunju sanctioned interest-free funds to the contracting company, which had built the flyover, but the latter has dismissed the charges as "politically motivated".