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Karmayogi: A Biography of E. Sreedharan

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Item Code: UBJ795
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Author: M.S. ASHOKAN
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9780143425304
Pages: 259 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 8.00 X 5.50 inch
Weight 210 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About the Book

Karmayogi is the dramatic and inspiring story of E. Sreedharan, the much-admired engineer and technocrat who won accolades for finishing the Delhi Metro project within budget and on time, in the face of severe constraints. Known for his efficiency and discipline and regarded the world over for his productivity standards, Sreedharan has, surprisingly, never spent more than the eight-hour workday in office.

This fascinating book looks back on an extraordinary career full of sterling achievements-Sreedharan's years with the Indian Railways, the building of the Kolkata Metro and the Konkan Railway, followed by the Delhi Metro and the many metro projects he has been involved with.

Translated from the bestselling biography in Malayalam, this is the uplifting story of a very private person who became an icon of modern India because of his uncompromising work ethic.

About the Author

M.S. Ashokan is an author and senior journalist with over twenty years of experience. He currently works with the Deshabhimani daily. Painting (in oil and watercolour) is a passion that he pursues seriously. He lives in Kochi with his wife and two children.

Rajesh Rajamohan is a writer, translator and technologist. He lives in Pennsylvania, US, and works for the telecommunications industry. He translated N.S. Madahavn's Litanies of Dutch Battery, a major work from Malayalam, in 2011. The book won the Vodafone- Crossword Award for best translated fiction, was shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize and longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His other works of translation include K.R. Meera's Gospel of Yudas.


Sreedharan has become a synonym for the magnificence of human endeavour that makes the impossible possible. There has not been any parallel, in the last six decades, to his contribution as a technocrat who modernized and expanded the country's transportation systems to match global standards. What stands out about this genius, who hails from Karukaputhur, an obscure, remote village in the district of Palakkad in Kerala, is not just the sheer volume and reach of the development projects he undertook, but also how in mission after mission, he reaffirmed the time-tested values from ancient wisdom that he has always cherished, functioning with purpose and transparency even while keeping corruption at bay, with an effort akin to prayer.

The nation took note of Sreedharan, the trailblazer, when he led the epic mission of building the Konkan Railway on a tight schedule to link the northern end of Kerala- the southernmost state of India-to the financial city of Mumbai. Known as one of the greatest engineering feats of modern times, the Konkan line ran along the west coast of India, negotiating the difficult terrain that lay between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. That a railway line boosts a region's industrial and economic prospects had long been realized, and plans for such a line had been in the making since the time of the British Raj. However, all attempts to implement them came to naught, what with the Konkan's forbidding terrain making it a terribly impractical prospect that is, until Sreedharan took charge.

Sreedharan had long retired from the Indian Railways when parleys for the country's first modern metro in Delhi began and his name was suggested for heading the project. There were legal barriers to appointing a retiree in the top position at a public enterprise. However, no argument or obstruction could thwart Sreedharan's progress along his path of action for very long. The Sreedharan Effect extended beyond the Delhi Metro; following its success twenty more big cities in India embarked on plans for metros of their own.

The new transportation system that would come with an incredibly steep price tag, one which the country could hardly afford, drew prolonged and intense criticism. But in the end, the success of the metro in Delhi, which flaunted the most advanced technology from around the world, made for a fitting reply to all the naysayers. The benefits the metro brought-such as significant reduction in pollution, decline in road accidents, improved infrastructure that accelerated development activities, and change in the quality of life of the general public-blunted much of the criticism.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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