Friday, November 03, 2006

Top Bureaucrat: E Sreedharan - Magic is possible.

E Sreedharan - the man behind Delhi Metro - and more, could have been just another bureaucrat wiling away his time in corridors of power, wasting away public funds, and counting retirement funds.

But that was not to be. He demonstrated what a bureaucrat can achieve - if he wants to.

What exactly did he achieve - some examples:

  • Delhi Metro project was finished in-time, top quality, within budget. This is a simple unheard of statistic in govt. run large scale project says it all.
  • Took up building the Konkan Railway - that reduced Mumbai-Kochi distance by one-third. This was a challenging assignment - and one of its only kinds done since Britishers last laid down large scale railway tracks. And did this one successfully too - reducing travel time from Mumbai to Mangalore - from 41 hrs to just 15.

This technocrat was conferred with France's highest decoration Knight of the Legion of Honour

But, the usual story of Red Tapism, sleeping fellow bureaucrats, and unaccountable Politicians - haven't kept away from him. They hound him too - like here recently.

Nevertheless, this is a good example of what bureaucrats can achieve. Imagine - if all bureaucrats set out to work like him - we would have India Transformed very quickly. If India is largely poor - it is because the men who have been entrusted with funds, authority and manpower - to do their jobs - have failed to do it. There is no other reason.

Having esoteric NGOs, common man dharna's and writing letters of protest for every uncovered garbage dump - is not a practical way to achieve fast track progress. Put the right man at the right job - and get out of his way. And see the results. And if you don't see - you don't have the right man for the job - work towards achieving that.


At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Sajith M said...

The sad part is that the likes of E Sreedharan are not common. More of an exception than a rule..

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Vin said...

this is impressive.. whatever he has made($$$).. he still has achieved a lot... many cities like blore need a personal like him

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Giri said...

very admirable!

it takes very high levels of self-motivation to stay focussed on work when you have to battle distractions from silly netas.

At 2:18 AM, Blogger artnavy said...

Pity that there are no Sreedharan's in Chennai to complete the MRTS project

I like the highway though blore- Chennai

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Hiren said...

What you say is true but Apun ka Desh runs more on Apun ka Vested interest rather than good governance.

If Sreedharan is right, the media should raise the kind of ruckus they did for Jesica lall till the errant parties are forced to behave. Otherwise , wait and watch

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Apun Ka Desh said...

Sajith/Giri> Very True.

Vin> Not sure what you mean by whatever he has made($$$). But the govt. in bangalore didn't want him initially for reasons known only to them, and he was appointed some sort of consultant much later...

artnavy> It wouldn't be surprising if local neta's don't really want him to get involved in projects they are doing. Here is a upright, superb technocrat - would he allow them delay the project and fitter away the money?

Hiren> Thats the thing about media. They pickup issues which have some rhetorical value. Why isn't media talking about the fact that 1 in every 5 MP's in the parliament has criminal antecedents. Why is PDS not working. Why Primary Education would have all but died, if not for private schools. Why handicapped in india live one of the most miserable existences in the world. Why indian defence forces strike power is dwindling (recent statement of Navy Chief) .. and so many more.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous ekawaaz said...

This is very impressive. I had read about this man in some magzine here in UK. I do appreciate his work and commitmment in changing India's face. This shows that if you got will and honesty you can achieve anything. He should be honoured by Indian Government for his achievements. Any Idea had he got any sort of recoznisation by Indian government? Any high civilian award?

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Apun Ka Desh said...

EkAwaaz> Yes, he was given Padma Shree in the year 2001. One of the deserving ones that year.

We have Awards Politics too though - that is a post for some other day!

At 2:52 AM, Anonymous silkboard said...

As Sajith said, right man for the right job is more of exception than rule. Waiting for right men/women to occupy right places could take long, and may be a matter of luck.

Top down approach has to be complimented by more interest and community-activism by citizens. Each of us are lost in our own selfish lives, with little sense of duty towards the community, how can we get better like this? Remember, one of only rises up and becomes a politico or a bureaucrat.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous ekawaaz said...

Dear Apun

rhanks for sharing info, is ther any chance for him to get Padam Bushan he really deserve dont you think so? Well I will wait for your next post about Awards Politics.

At 3:32 AM, Blogger mojindro said...

hello dear,
interesting that you wrote about him..
he is really an exception and commited person...
thanx for sharing so much info about him..

At 3:16 AM, Blogger Musings on India said...

AKD I am extremely impressed with your focus on finding the right people for the top jobs in India. When the entire corporate world works on that funda then I dont know why we Indian taxpayers should settle for the reverse happening in India. It would be great to get more information about the other Sreedharans in India.

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