New Delhi [India], September 6 (ANI): After a gap of more than five months, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to welcome passengers in a phased manner in three stages beginning from September 7.
The Metro, which had suspended its services in March due to outbreak of Covid is looking to reopen with caution putting into place a series of measures such as closed token counters, limited entry and exit points, thermal scanners and sanitisers among others to enable commuters to adhere to COVID social distancing protocols. On Monday the Yellow Line (Samyapur Badli to HUDA City Centre) will be opened. Over a period of next five days i.e, by 12th September, rest of the Lines will also be made operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19 in the Metro premises which requires everyone to follow a new normal of social distancing, face mask and hand sanitisation.
This morning at Rajiv Chowk metro, one of the capital’s busiest interchange station, workers carried out santisation drive. They cleaned benches, lifts and floors but also the metal barricades placed at the platforms.
As a precautionary measure and to avoid human contact, automatic thermal scanners have been placed at the platforms along with sanitizer dispensing machines for the passengers and the staff. Notably, tokens will not be permitted for travelling, only smart cards will be allowed.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot visited Rajiv Chowk to take stock of preparations. “I am happy that the people of Delhi will again be able to travel by metro after five months. I request people to follow all the protocols and not to compromise on social distancing norm while standing at the platforms and also inside the train. I would also urge them to avoid travel if they are no required. In Delhi, the COVID-19 situation is under control. Our recovery rate is good,” he said.
Also, arrangements have been made for the passengers to sit on alternate seats in the train or stand, maintaining a gap of one meter. Stripe markers have also been provided at all queuing area like frisking, ticketing, AFC gates, lift, escalators.
CISF personnel deployed at the metro stations have been tasked with keeping ahawk-eyed vigil on the travellers flouting norms along with security checking and dog squads patrolling. They have been provided not only with the masks but also the face shields to protect themselves from falling prey to the deadly virus.
As per the DMRC guidelines, trains will be sanitised at terminal stations. Similarly, once they are back to Depots after the end of the day, the trains will again be thoroughly sanitised. Also, the train doors will be kept open at terminal stations to let fresh air into the trains.
Notably, after the Central government suspended the metro rail services in the last week of March, commuters hopped were compelled to use other public transport such as private cab services and buses in Delhi. Many of them had to wait for hours as transportation was regulated due to the pandemic. On receiving complaints from the scores of people, the Delhi government later allowed e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws to ply on roads with a single passenger for hassle-free commuting.
Initially, the metro will be run in two slots — 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 8 pm till September 10. Only Yellow Line of Delhi Metro railways — from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre — will be operational in phase I. From September 11, the train will run from 7 am to 1 pm, 4 pm to 10 pm. Delhi Metro will run from 6 am to 11 pm from September 12. The other routes of Delhi Metro — Blue Line, Pink Line and Gurgaon Line — will start operating from September 9.
To maintain orderliness and regulate flow of passengers with social distancing norms, only one or two gates will be kept open for entry /exit of passengers at a station.
Apart from regular frontline staff at the stations, DMRC has made additional deployment of around 1000 officials/staff across the line(s)/network to assist and guide passengers in the wake of new norms of Metro travel which may take some time to settle in. (ANI)