Gist of memorial lecture of Rao Bahadur Col S.Paul by Padmavibhushan Sreedharan , CMD of Delhi Mero Rail corporation on 28/02/2013 . The Memorial lecture was organised by the Alumni association of College of Engineering Guindy ( AACEG), Anna University, Chennai-25
Unique work culture and organizational values made way to create organizations at par with international standards. Engineers should not work for salary alone, but they are accountable to the People who are paying the salaries. Railways run with public money and that money in turn is used for people and the projects of railways. These attitudes made a remarkable change in their work culture and the results produced definitely changed for the better.
Four basic values that made way to execute Major projects of Delhi Metro rail, Konkan Railway much ahead of schedule and with nil/ less cost overruns.
3) Professional Competence
4) Social accountability.
Punctuality: Punctuality is courteousness that we show others by respecting their time. When we started our Projects, We insisted that we should maintain time, if we have to run our trains on time. This I had imbibed from one of our Professors in Kakinada, who came to class on time and left on time. Not a minute less and not a minute more. We tried and practiced this practice in our staff meetings and management meetings and the results that came out were extraordinary from people. We assiduously tried to inculcate and practice the same giving a maximum allowances of 60 Seconds for DMRC, wherein World standards permit up to 120 seconds for delay allowances of such trains . DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corpn) is running more than 15000 trips per day and carries a passenger load on an average of 25 lakh people every day. This saved on average of 28 minutes in travel of people across the board every day and it was estimated that nearly one Lakh cars were not used because of the implementation of DMRC phase I and II. . More than three Lakh man days were utilized for work every day instead of incessant travel. The non usage of cars reduced the emission of 8 lakh pollutants that could have come into the atmosphere in Delhi city alone. The benefits of running a world class Metro rail cannot be highlighted more than above as the benefits we could provide to institutions funding us.
Integrity: We started practicing our work based on High moral values and honesty. This made us from the beginning to be seen as a fair and open organization. Reputation of our integrity made us take bold decisions. We had to face many trials and tribulations in the process, but on the longer run everything worked in our favor. People were more reasonable to our approach and started cooperating with us, Even though we handled huge sums of money and were involved intimately with the commonwealth games, DMRC was one of the few organizations not affected by a scandal or vigilance actions that could impede decision making at higher levels We were taught consistently that if you are fair and sincere, your mistakes will be accepted as a mistake, whereas if you are not honest, even your mistakes are considered as with a bias or corruption .This gave us impeccable security and made us forge ahead of deadlines that were considered critical and serious to project execution. For Example DMRC Phase II Executed the 124 Km stretch in three and a half years instead of Four and a half planned , because of the planning to coincide it with the Commonwealth games . We could do the project in a record time that is considered as a world record not done in any part of the world so far..
Professional Competence: We insisted that we must have professional competence to know the sort of work we are doing by asking questions. Unless you know the job well, your colleagues and your contractors will not respect you. You should get people and even foreign companies as Consultants with Proper Background, Proper training and Experience to execute such major projects. We got the World best consultants into plan and trained all our staff wherever necessary, even to go abroad in few cases for longer time . Then the trained people became trainers for the rest of us to cope up with pressures and details of such mammoth work. We could build a team that felt totally comfortable to execute the job.
Social Accountability: Social accountability is not only completing the project within time and within budgets. You should ensure that the people are not affected in anyway whatsoever that could be avoided. For example all the vehicles were cleaned prior to their coming into roads, Proper barricading was done to prevent workers getting exposed, nor commuters get disturbed due to the construction activity, Also proper roads/ traffic signals laid wherever diversion/ alternative roads were made available to public. This proved that we are taking care of Public interest and there were instances where people started saying that after Metro construction the traffic in Delhi is moving fast.
Tree cutting in Delhi is considered as a crime and we had to get permission from 10 authorities to cut a tree going up to Lt Colonel of Delhi. But we had planned and started implementing across every construction site that we will plant and grow minimum 10 trees for every tree cut and this made people realize that we will not do any wrong and the total cooperative attitude of people came to our support.
Also on Konkan railway construction, which was a most difficult terrain to construct and run a railway, we had to get permission from over 40,000 land owners consent to get the contract sites possession. If we had taken the normal routes followed, It would have taken more than 10 years and higher costs to acquire the same. But we took a direct route by approaching the individual owners and started solving their problems and give them the reason of advantage of public. Within one and a half year, we could submit the consent letter for acquisition from over 95 % of the people. This goes to more than prove people respect your fairness and integrity and our steps to provide those solutions made them more cooperative. That is what we mean Social accountability and responsibility
. Mr E.Sreedharan advised that the best way to pay homage to the great Rao Bahadur Lt Coln S Paul is to follow his best practices as above that made people to become great architects of our country . Dr Paul was simple in his approach , but at the same time was interested innately in each one of his students and Personally he had also convinced himself ( Mr E Sreedharan ) to take the seat at Kakinada engineering college , that has in hindsight helped him to be a topper in his college and also get into IRS as a high ranking officer from its first year inception. He thanked The Alumini of Anna university and in particular the 1953 batch of Anna university in having taken this good initiative to start a Memorial lecture Every Year .
The Whole Audience gave a standing ovation to one of the most inspiring lectures delivered by the “METRO MAN “. He deserves our best gratitude and wishes.