Shri E. Sreedharan
Fire Brigade Lane,Barakhamba Road,
Dated- December 27th 2011
Subject: – An open letter
I’m sitting just opposite to block ‘A’ of Rajiv Chowk metro station. Every where around me are people who travel daily withDelhimetro. I’m also among them. I can also see lot of people, coming in to the station and a lot who’re moving out of station. Quite lot of times I’ve given this thing a thought that Rajiv Chowk metro station should be declared as city or may be capital toNew Delhi. About the number of commuters around me, all I can say is I can’t count. But I’m sure that it would be some lakh for sure if we take a whole day count. I even sometime wonder if people will start treating this station as a place to do their daily job of morning walk. Imagine it would be like taking a round from block ‘A’ to block ‘F’ or may be from ‘Dwarka’ line to ‘Noida’ line. I’m sure this will help them keep their health good. It’s just goes in with those messages every where on Delhi Metro network “Use stairs to stay fit.”
And now let me jump to major reason, because of which I’m writing this open letter to you. (And just to remind you that now I’m on Barakhamba station; a better and peaceful place to write this.) Few days back I read in newspaper that you’re now going to retire from post of Chief of DMRC on December 31 2011. Well to me, it came as a sad ending to the year. Though it comes with lot of good news too like development of 3 more sections of Delhi Metro will start in coming year, 8 Coach metro may also come and the 4 coach metro would be turned into 6 coach metro. As you retire, I’d like to tell you that I will MISS you. And with humble heart I’d like to thank you for givingDelhi, what we’re proud of most- Delhi Metro.
You not only changed the way I and many other people travel inDelhibut also gave us a lot of memories; memories that we will cherish whole of our life. I will never forget the question I used to ask my mom, when I was 8 or 9 yrs old and we used to pass by Kashmiri gate and Tis Hazari “Mummy, ye itne badi badi machine kya ha” (Mom, what are these giant machines) and she used to say “beta yaha ek bahut acchi jadu wali train chale g” (Son, a very nice magical train would run here.)
I also remember what happened exactly 9 years back. It was a cold breeze evening and the date was December 27th or may be 28th. I along with my whole family boarded the bus from bus stand near my house and dropped down somewhere. I wonder what happened to people on that day. They were so eager to enter some place and were waiting in ‘Q’. The place looked very shinny, neat and clean. A lot of police people were there and I found the most amazing thing I ever saw. It was some kind of black doors; they were opening-closing again and again. Today, when I write this, I know that that ‘somewhere’ was Tis Hazari, the ‘shinny place’ was Metro Station and those ‘black doors’ were Entry and Exit gates.
9 years back, I was 12 yrs old. And today I’m 21. I travel in Delhi Metro almost every second day and to prove that I can always say that, I have purchased more then 15 metro cards since year 2007. I buy them, I loose them, I give them to some friend or family member or I simply damage them (unintentionally.)Delhimetro now resides in my heart. I have not traveled in any other rapid transit system, nor inIndianor abroad. But I’m sure of one thing that system would be far behind ofDelhimetro. I have even heard that Delhi Metro is among very few Metro trains in world- earning profit (Touchwood.) And I gave my good wishes to Delhi Metro for same.
I don’t know how will you take this but I always had a wild imagination of going inside the tunnels of Delhi Metro. And yes you can be sure that I have never tried that nor I’m planning to, until somebody from Delhi Metro take me there for a ride. I also love that big machine with which you guys used to make tunnels. I have seen the photographs of same on Wikipedia and at Metro museum. I wonder where you got that technology from.
I don’t know much but, my parents used to say that making an underground tunnel at ‘Chandni Chowk’ must have been a difficult job. And they also said that because they made it possible, it’s a great thumb’s up to them. (I’m sorry, as they called you ‘them’ because for me Metro = E. Sreedharan.)
Another thing which is a must to mention is Airport Express Metro. I know, you know, all know that they’re not doing well. You have already brought that issue up. With this I just want to put some light on things that may happen after you retire. See it is the only one section of Delhi Metro, where you were not involved. And the result was in front of us; continuous delay in delivering project on time, insufficient no. of trains and many other things, which you would know better. When you leave and the III Phase works starts, I’m worried if the Airport Express results would be repeated. I’m also optimistic that you must have trained your team in your manner and your style. And they will be able to carry forward your legacy and your discipline, especially when it is about delivering project on time.
(Sorry…to put bring this thing again, but now I’m at Saket Metro station)
As I mentioned earlier that you must have trained your team well. There is something I’d like to add. No matter how many direct employees of DMRC I have met (Drivers, Platform in charge and other people.) There was one thing common in all of them, they were really humble. They speak in a manner which is expected from them. They were always polite and helped people in the entire possible manner. I’m not sure If adding this would be appropriate or not but the employees on Customer care centre and Ticket counter showed a different and an opposite image of DMRC. I know they’re not direct employees of DMRC and are been outsourced. But I still think that DMRC should take their training in one self’s own hands for better relationship between commuters and the first level of customer service team.
While I close this letter, I bid farewell to you; and Thank You once all over again.
Regards and Respect,