On the glittery evening of January 29, 2008, the then Delhi Metro chief and BJP's latest addition, E Sreedharan was adjudged as the "Indian of the Year for 2007" by CNN-IBN news channel.
Sreedharan accepted the award on behalf of his team of engineers and technicians, who he said, "made the task of providing metro rail connectivity to the city of Delhi before time."
"Delhi Metro has been able to achieve these results due to certain organisational values that we have nurtured and developed and the type of work ethics that we have established," Sreedharan, after receiving the award, said.
Delhi has now become a benchmark to others to follow, he said.
Sreedharan bagged the award of the Indian of the Year, 2007 in the "Public Service" category.
Accepting the award, Sreedharan said the honour bestowed on him showed that some values still count — the integrity of individuals; professional competence; and the fact that time is money, hence, the need to finish work on time. And, he said, he held these values in high esteem.
The winners were picked by a mix of voting by people, SMS and online and selection by a jury of Padma awardees — lawyer Soli Sorabjee (chairman), HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, actor Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair, Hindustan Times Media Ltd vice-chairman and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia, Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani, billiards champion Geet Sethi and former police officer Kiran Bedi.
Sreedharan is popularly known as the Metro Man for his groundbreaking work in transforming public transport in India, particularly his work with Delhi Metro as well as being behind the development of the Konkan Railways.