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Mangu Singh: The man who will run Delhi Metro

Last updated on: October 28, 2011 14:16 IST

Mangu Singh: The man who will run Delhi Metro

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Sudheer Pal Singh in New Delhi

On October 14, after facing a grilling session that lasted over half-an-hour, a calm and composed Mangu Singh walked out of the interview room in Delhi Metro's head office at Barakhamba Lane in Delhi and headed for his own chamber downstairs.

Singh, currently, a Director in DMRC, was one among the 35 candidates who were hopeful of replacing E Sreedharan - the government's posterboy in the transport sector.

What followed was a series of frantic media reports on Singh having been finalised as the successor of Sreedharan.

The news left few surprised since everything in the selection criteria - experience, technical know-how and managerial abilities - went in his favour.

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Image: Inset: Mangu Singh.

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In fact, the current "Metroman," Sreedharan who has headed DMRC and helped build the organisation's larger-than-life image for over a decade and a half himself recommended Singh's name for the position, according to media reports.

The 56 year-old civil engineer from Roorkee University and an Indian Railways Service of Engineers officer of the 1981 batch, has one reply - "No comments".

Fact is that Singh and Sreedharan joined DMRC at the same time, 14 years ago. Singh has also assisted Sreedharan on the Kolkata Metro project.

Sreedharan had desired an engineer from within the organisation to succeed him, sources said.

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Image: Singh joined DMRC 14 years ago.

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Mangu Singh: The man who will run Delhi Metro

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Apart from being a member of the DMC board responsible for planning, design and execution of projects, Singh also heads the organisation's consultancy division.

He has held various positions in operation and management of railways systems and also planning, procurement and implementation of projects on Indian Railways.

Singh also heads the Clean Development Mechanism projects of Delhi Metro which are some of the few successful projects amongst the railways transportation sector globally.

His expertise also includes procurement of works and services for mega projects on design and build contracts basis, multilateral funding and developing bid documents for metro projects on Public Private Partnership basis.

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Image: He has held various positions.

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He is a recipient of a National Award for his contribution to Indian Railways.

Few experts and insiders doubt that Singh has the technical and managerial abilities to replace Sreedharan.

"The government could not select a better and more efficient head of DMRC than Mangu Singh," said an independent expert on railways' who has also worked in close association with Singh and DMRC for over a decade.

"If you require one antithesis of the belief that only Master of Business Administration and Indian Administrative Service officers can be good managers, it is Mangu Singh," he added.

Singh is widely known to be methodical and hardworking. His greatest challenge, however, would be the overseeing of the massive network expansion programme of DMRC.

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Image: He is known to be methodical and hardworking.

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Mangu Singh: The man who will run Delhi Metro

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Singh would assume office of the MD at a time when DMRC is fast crossing National Capital Region boundaries.

The Corporation is not only running a 180 kilometre-long network under phase I and phase II in the NCR, it is also planning to add an additional 140 km in the third phase of expansion.

While the first two phases have been built for Rs 30,500 crore (Rs 305 billion), the cost of phase III has been estimated at Rs 28,000 crore (Rs 280 billion).

Another reason why Singh is seen as a right choice is his expertise in execution of underground sections of the metro network.

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Image: Inside a Metro Station.

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DMRC has already announced a shift towards building underground sections in future as against overhead lines, primarily, to avoid land acquisition issues.

At such a time, the organisation would gain from Singh's experience in constructing and managing the underground sections in phase I and II of Delhi Metro.

Singh, who also oversaw the construction of high-speed Airport Metro Line and is currently busy with construction of Phase III, would take charge on January 1 next year.


Image: Singh will take charge on January 1.

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