Delhi has set the trend for a ‘metro rail’ revolution which is, now, spreading across the country for the best, says Dr E. Sreedharan, the architect behind the shining marvels of Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro Rail project.

Dr Sreedharan was delivering the keynote address, `Delhi Metro Rail, a success story’, after receiving this year’s Attumalil Georgekutty Merit Award instituted by Mar Thoma Church at Dr Alexander Mar Thoma auditorium in Thiruvalla on Monday afternoon.

It took 22 years for the completion of India’s first Metro Rail in Kolkata and the cost for this 17-km Metrol Rail went up 14 times during the period.

``Drawing a lesson from Kolkata, the Delhi Metro was implemented in an entirely different style and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) could complete the first phase of the 65.1-km long world-class Metro Rail project in a record time of 7 years and 3 months and that too two years and nine months ahead of the original schedule and without any cost escalation from its original estimate,’’ Dr Sreedharan said.

Dr Sreedharan said the Government grant to the Delhi Metro project was only one third of the total estimate and DMRC had borrowed the remaining fund from Japan and the responsibility to service and payback the loan is with the corporation.

Though the second phase of the Delhi Metro Rail project was scheduled to commission in January 2011, DMRC could complete the project well before that in the backdrop of the Common Wealth Games. Perhaps, no city in the world has been able to complete a project like this in such a short span of four years and nine months, he added.

According to him, the success story of Delhi Metro has shown that a country like India could very well execute such mega projects in a better way than many developed countries, if there is a will.

He said the Delhi Metro has been proved to be a technical marvel as well as a financial success. The third phase of the Delhi Metro is scheduled to be completed by 2016 and the fourth phase by 2021 by the time Delhi could emerge as the city with the fifth largest Metro Rail in the whole world, he said.

Dr Sreedharan said the monthly remuneration he gets from DMRC has been set apart for the charity trust he had registered in the name of his mother, adding that the pension he receives from the Railways is enough to meet the daily needs of him and his wife. The cash he receives by way of awards too goes to the charity trust.

The Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Joseph Mar Thoma, presented the award comprising a purse of of Rs 1,00,000 and a citation to Dr sreedharan on the occasion. Issac Mar Philoxenos Metropolitan presided the meeting. Fr K.S.Mathew, Church secretary and A.V.Jones who was instrumental for instituting the award also spoke.