Men who kept Lucknow metro on fast track

Men who kept Lucknow metro on fast track
Men who kept Lucknow metro on fast track

The feat would not have been possible without the untiring efforts of principal advisor E Sreedharan and a team of other officials. HT profiles some of them Lucknow Metro.

Government officials, especially bureaucrats and technocrats, are known for delaying development projects.

Majority of development projects miss deadlines and overshoot budget.

But Lucknow Metro has been a project in which all works were completed well before the deadline and the public money was utilised to the hilt.

The feat would not have been possible without the untiring efforts of principal advisor E Sreedharan, popularly known as ‘Metro Man’, and a team of officials.

Through their hard work and determination, these officials removed all the roadblocks and made sure that the Lucknow metro project remained on track.

HT brings you the officials who made metro possible in the City of Nawabs:


An IRSE (Indian Railway Service of Engineers) officer and a gold medallist engineer from IIT-Kanpur (M.Tech) and IIT-Roorkee (BE), Kumar Keshav is a movie buff.

Unlike people of his age who have a liking for old melodies, Kumar Keshav loves latest songs.

Keshav took over as the managing director of the company on August 18, 2014, and has not taken even a single leave since then.

As director (projects & planning), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), he successfully completed various projects of Delhi metro.

Commissioning of central secretariat-Badarpur metro project (October 3, 2010) – just on the day of the start of the Commonwealth Games – is one of his notable projects.

Approximately 70,000 people travelled by Delhi metro to reach the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – the main venue of the global sporting extravaganza.

It was an uphill task which was made possible by this gritty engineer who held his nerves till the last hour to make it happen.

Keshav was also involved in the successful execution of 19 km long west corridor of Phase-II of Delhi Metro worth USD 280 million and Phase-I (Dwarka sub-city) corridor worth USD 400 million.

He remained associated with Delhi metro project from 2002 where he headed the designing, procurement, installation, testing and commission of ballast-less track for phases I and II of the project (worth USD 280 million).

The 8.9-km priority corridor of the Lucknow metro project between Transport Nagar and Charbagh added more responsibility on his shoulders. The commercial run of Lucknow metro on September 5 will add another feather to this cap.

With round-the-clock work on the project, the LMRC MD ensured that the priority corridor was commissioned for trial run on December 1, 2016.

Lucknow metro has achieved the distinction of being the fastest-ever execution of metro project in the country.

Work on priority corridor was executed in just over two years which is a record in itself.

Even contemporary metro projects in the country have not been able to match up with the speed of deliverance as compared to LMRC’s strength in project execution.

Keshav believes in his colleagues and has firm belief in his planning and management. Keshav is known to be a great motivator who guides his team through his innovative ideas to complete the project within the stipulated time-frame.



Daljeet Singh, who studied at IIT-Kanpur (MTech) and IIT-BHU (Varanasi), has been instrumental in planning the infrastructure and technical aspects of Lucknow metro.

A man of vast experience, he has also worked with DMRC and was involved in the construction and design of various Delhi metro projects. As executive director (civil) and chief project manager (CPM) at DMRC, he is credited with constructing and completing the underground metro corridor from central secretariat to Vishwa Vidyalaya (Phase I), the elevated corridor from Qutub Minar to HUDA City Centre during the XIXth Commonwealth Games, 2010 (Phase II), and the design and construction of underground metro corridor from Kalkaji to Vasant Vihar (Phase III).

DMRC’s corporate headquarters building – Metro Bhavan and the IT Park Building– was built and made operational under his leadership. As a civil engineer, he has received many awards and accolades including safety awards.

Civil work of Lucknow metro rail project is being executed under him.

Singh is involved in planning, designing and construction of the 23-km North-South Corridor of Lucknow Metro under Phase-1A.

He has played an anchor’s role in ensuring that the Lucknow metro becomes a unique project in itself as compared with its execution and speed of deliverance in the given time-frame.

Singh said Lucknow metro was one of the best projects not only in India but in any part of the world. “We have put our heart and soul into it. The system will rock,” he said.


Mahendra Kumar, an electrical engineer of the Indian Railway Service (IRS), has been a silent contributor in executing electrical system of Lucknow metro.

The coaches of the metro train have been mdesigned by him. A man with an in-depth experience of execution and implementation of electrical and systems works for any metro rail or railways system in India was also involved with Delhi metro and has worked for DMRC Phase I from its beginning.

Kumar was associated with the electrification of 2×25 KV system of Anuppur-Bishrampur/Chirmiri and Jhajha-Mugalsarai section of the Indian Railway.

He was responsible for 25 KV AC overhead electrification of DMRC (Phase I & II). Kumar was also instrumental in getting United Nations certification for Delhi metro for saving 33% electrical energy using the regenerative-braking system in rolling stocks.

As a result, Delhi metro became the only railway system in the world to earn carbon credits for environment-friendly operations.

Under his leadership, solar power initiatives were also started in DMRC. At Lucknow Metro, he has designed rolling stock & systems. He was instrumental in finalising of design and specifications of the state-of-the-art rolling stock (metro trains) and its signalling and telecommunication features (communication-based train control).

“I ensured that the rolling stock contractor delivers the train in 65 weeks from the date of award of contract. This is a world record in itself as rolling stocks have never been manufactured and delivered in less than 75 weeks as compared to deliverance of train sets for any other metro worldwide,” Kumar said.

“I have established the Centre of Excellence for Training which is the first of its kind metro training institute in Uttar Pradesh. It is a model for all other metros coming in other cities of the state like Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Meerut,” he said.


Ajai Kant Rastogi, is an Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) officer of reputation.

Before joining Lucknow metro project, he was serving as divisional railway manager (DRM) in Madurai (Kerala). He has a vast experience in maintaining finance and accounts of large organisations such as the Indian Railways.

The accounts of the project are being handled professionally under him to ensure smooth flow of cash for completion of the project in the stipulated budget and time-frame.

Timely sanctions and approvals were always provided for smooth execution of works. Work on the project was never stopped or delayed due to financial issues. He ensured that payments to various contractors were timely made.

In addition to finance, Rastogi is also heading the human resources (HR) and property development departments of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC). It is only because of his sustained leadership that LMRC has been able to recruit and induct about 350 candidates for the organisation in a very short time.

He handled all personnel and administrative issues of the organisation properly and set a corporate style of functioning in a government project.

“I have always tried to take care of benefits of employees, give them financial, emotional and social security. And see how have they delivered. Lucknow metro has set an example for other organisations to take care of employees with love and compassion and shun the strategy of keeping employees on the edge and exploit their fear to get desired output,” he said.

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