M Ramachandran is not called the Infrastructure Man for nothing. He is no stranger to infrastructureâ€”especially urban infrastructure. Indeed, his biggest claim to fame is his vast experience as Director of development authorities, port trusts, and his unique role in coordinating and developing the Metro system in the country as the Chairperson of Metro Rail Corporations of New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. Ramachandran's experience in various initiatives as Uttarakhand Infrastructure Development Commissioner will now help Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's dream by planning and preparing a road map for providing infrastructure in cities and towns of the state, including policy facilitation. The state's new infrastructure advisor will likely zoom in and capitalise on the western part of the state adjoining Delhi, including Noida, Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway Development Authorities, the best options for the state towards future growth and development. Ramachandran's close understanding of the Centre's flagship programme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), will surely help offset the state's own poor record in infrastructure.
The slew of new townships, expressways, new airports and Metro and mono rail projects for Lucknow may be adequate signals about the government's serious approach to infrastructure. And not a moment too soon either.
Ramachandran, a 1972 batch retired IAS just missed the coveted Cabinet Secretary's post. His book, “An Alternative Approach to Project Planning in Public Worksâ€”The Indian Context” was well received in the infra circle.