Delhi Metro chief Mangu Singh on Thursday bid an emotional farewell to the DMRC after an illustrious career of 25 years, including the last decade as its managing director.
On the last day of his tenure on March 31, he said the ”Delhi Metro will always be in my heart” and he was ”satisfied” with his long journey.
Senior officials and many members of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board of directors visited Singh at his office at the Metro Bhawan here and extended their best wishes.
”But, this is not a traditional retirement, I would say, where one would sort of move away after completing one’s service. I will be in Delhi and in the age of technology, with mobile phones and WhatsApp, will be in touch with the people,” he told PTI in an interview on Thursday.
A Bijnor native and a graduate in civil engineering from the University of Roorkee (now IIT-Roorkee), he bid adieu to his ”DMRC family” and accepted greetings from his colleagues and his successor Vikas Kumar, who will take charge as the new managing director on April 1.
Mangu Singh, considered as the foremost tunnelling expert, became part of the Indian Railways Services of Engineers (IRSE) in 1981.
He then joined the Indian Railways and worked in various capacities, including as deputy chief engineer of the Kolkata Metro Railway from 1989 to 1996.
Asked how would he describe his journey at the DMRC, he said, ”My journey with a metro began much earlier than the DMRC. I was associated with the Calcutta Metro from ’89-’96, so it’s been almost 33 years with metros”.
”And nothing can be more satisfying than this career of several decades, including 33 years in metros, including 25 years in DMRC and then 10 years and three months as its MD.” ”God has been very kind in giving me such opportunities. I have been able to create 310 km of network while being part of different metros, and I don’t think anybody had that sort of opportunity, anywhere in the world,” he said with a sense of pride.
This span of 310 km includes the network added in the DMRC and other metros while working in various capacities, he said.
Singh’s tenure as MD of DMRC had begun on January 1, 2012 after his predecessor E Sreedharan handed over the charge to him on December 31, 2011. His tenure was extended multiple times.
Delhi Metro, under Mangu Singh’s leadership, endeavoured to bounce back after being severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. His journey had begun with the Delhi Metro back in 1997 when he started working in the capacity of a chief engineer/chief project manager.
Later, he rose to become executive director and then director (works) in the DMRC before taking the charge as its MD in 2012, officials said.
He has contributed greatly in the project implementation of metros in Delhi and Kolkata and has been responsible for bringing revolutionary changes in the execution of large metro engineering projects (civil) within tight deadlines and budget, the DMRC had earlier said.
Asked about DMRC’s association with other metros in India under his leadership, he said, ”I am very fortunate to have been involved with almost all metro networks in the country, whether a metro is operational or under construction or in initial stage of planning, I had the opportunity to get involved everywhere.” ”It was a big opportunity in life and I am really very satisfied with this journey,” he said.
One project outside Delhi that he felt special about is the Line2A of Mumbai Metro, which is slated to be inaugurated on Saturday.
”That project, I personally feel, was very challenging in a city like Mumbai. Why I am particular about that project is because in Mumbai, they already have an MMRC (Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation) that they are executing. But confidence and faith was shown in us and the then CM personally called me and said, ‘you (Mangu Singh) have to deliver a line in Mumbai’,” he said.
”So, that is why I feel it is more fascinating and challenging and we have done that,” he said.
The DMRC network’s current span is nearly 392 km with 286 stations, including the Noida-Greater Noida Metro Corridor and Rapid Metro in Gurugram.