Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday said that had it not been for his then Delhi counterpart Sheila Dikshit, Kerala’s landmark Kochi Metro would not have become a reality.
Mourning the death of the three-time Chief Minister, Chandy told IANS that after Delhi Metro came up and expanded during Dikshit’s tenure (1998-2013), ‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan, who was then heading the Delhi Metro, was flooded with requests from various states that he should take the lead to construct similar metros, but the Delhi government came out with an order that it would not be possible to dispense with his services.
“But, then I, as the Chief Minister (2011-16), took up the case with Dikshit and after realizing the need that without Sreedharan, Kochi Metro would not become a reality, she readily agreed… Sreedharan’s services were obtained for the Kochi Metro and it became a reality in 2017. Kerala owes a great deal to her for this,” he said.
Dikshit had also briefly served as Kerala Governor, being appointed to the post by then UPA government on March 11, 2014 and holding office till August 25, 2014, following which she resigned, following the change in the Central government.
“The Congress party has lost a stalwart in all respects… she will be certainly missed,” Chandy added.