ICE 200: Metro Man transforms Kolkata's underground services

Working on Kolkata's first metro railway led Parthajit Patra to look more closely at the city's water and sewerage infrastructure.

Parthajit Patra: need to improve underground services infrastructure
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Parthajit Patra: need to improve underground services infrastructure
Parthajit Patra is a civil engineer passionate about sustainable water conservation and sanitation.  Parthajit earned his superhero status and moniker Metro Man for his work constructing Kolkata’s first underground railway.

Parthajit started his engineering career as a project supervisor on the large scale construction of India’s first metro railway. With the rapid rise of urbanisation within Kolkata a significant strain was placed on the city’s transport system.

Opened in 1984, Parthajit’s metro railway was the first of many infrastructure developments to rail transport within India’s cities. It was during this project that his interest grew in environmental engineering, particularly water management.
“I noticed the poor condition of water and sewerage infrastructure while working underground. Since then I decided to venture into finding a comprehensive solution and to get involved in fixing such services,” he says.

After completing his masters degree in environmental engineering Parthajit went on to work on many projects in the water sector. The Guwahati water supply project sought to provide the city with a consistent supply of drinking water. As well as the Kolkata environment improvement project where he successfully designed the drainage system for India’s largest ever sewerage project.

When asked what he would say to encourage young people interested in a career in civil engineering Parthajit adds: “A career in civil engineering allows for a direct connection to culture, community, and society.

“As a civil engineer you have the opportunity to develop society and improve the lives of people. It is a challenging profession but it can also be a truly global one with windows of opportunities in various countries.”

Learn more about Parthajit and his fellow Invisible Superheroes’ deeds by visiting ICE’s Invisible Superheroes exhibition. Watch the exhibition come alive when you download ICE’s new augmented reality app as it reveals hidden features inside the exhibition.