People broke into loud cheers when 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan's name was announced on stage during the inaugural function of the Kerala's prestigious Metro project.
Managing Director of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited Elias George, who welcomed the gathering, had to pause for a while as over 3,000 people, majority of them special invitees, rose and greeted the project's chief architect with thunderous applause.
The 85-year-old DMRC principal adviser was among the dignitaries who shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Governor P Sathasivam and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The crowd again broke into cheers when Naidu and Vijayanin their speeches hailed the role played by the 'Metro Man' in fulfilling the dream of people of Kerala.
Through it all, Sreedharan sat impassively.
Earlier, before proceeding to board the metro train for the inaugural ride, the prime minister shook hands with the chief minister and Sreedharan.
During the journey, Modi interacted with Sreedharan and Elias George.
A controversy had erupted in the state as the name of Sreedharan, who was associated with the project from the very beginning, was not found in the list of names of dignitaries to share the stage with Modi for the inaugural function.
However, his name was included by the PMO following the state government's intervention.