Metro services likely to resume after I-Day; Centre to take the final decision
The metro services across the nation came on a standstill when the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March. The metro corporations are waiting for nod from the central government to start services as per the recent media reports.
New Delhi (Metro Rail News): It has already been more than four months now after the metro services across the nation were shut down in view of COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown. The Delhi Metro which caters to a huge mass of people using public transport in the national Capital is one of the worst-hit metro institutions of the nation as it has already lost a revenue collection of worth Rs 1000 crore due to the lockdown.
Lockdown Unlock 4.0: While markets, other modes of transport, hotels and restaurants have already been allowed within the city, businesses aren't learning pace thanks to low footfall. Traders believe only the metro can now come to their rescue.
Over five months after the Covid-19 pandemic halted its operations, the Delhi Metro is likely to resume as part of the relaxations offered by the Centre under Unlock 4.0, the 4th stage of the gradual reopening of the economy.
The Delhi Metro, in consultation with the Union Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs, has prepared a typical procedure (SOP) that might govern practically every aspect of its operations once trains start carrying passenger across its vast 389-km network.
When will the Delhi Metro start rolling?
That decision lies entirely with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which issues the ‘unlock’ guidelines after consulting all stakeholders. In metro’s case, the first stakeholders are the Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs, the Delhi government and therefore the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). All three have conveyed their readiness to resume services to the MHA.
Should the metro services be allowed in Delhi as long as it continues to report over 1,000 cases daily?
The Delhi government is keen to resume metro services as a part of its measures to revive the city’s economy. While markets, other modes of transport, hotels and restaurants have already been allowed within the city, businesses aren't learning pace thanks to low footfall. Traders believe only the metro, which is taken into account the city’s lifeline, can now come to their rescue. The DMRC, on its part, maintains that it can restart operations at a brief notice of two days. The Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs headed by Hardeep Singh Puri is additionally in favour of allowing metro services. A comprehensive safety protocol has been involved to stop the spread of novel coronavirus among passenger and staffers of the network.
What will change for passenger once Delhi Metro services resume?
People are going to be allowed to enter the metro stations through selected gates for ensuring proper queues and stickers are pasted on the ground for ensuring adequate gaps. Every person will have to wear masks. Aarogya Setu app has not been made mandatory, however, authorities will encourage people to download the app. At the frisking points manned by CISF jawans, thermal screening are going to be administered and anyone running a temperature or showing symptoms of flu are going to be barred from entering the station premises.
Are Delhi Metro tokens being discontinued?
Yes, Delhi Metro plans to form the utilization of smart cards mandatory. Not just tokens, all sorts of cash transactions are likely to be discontinued for the nonce . So recharging a sensible card also will require an individual to swipe his credit or debit cards. The ticket-vending machines installed within the stations also will not accept cash. Passenger will need to make use of other cashless modes, including credit or debit cards, e-wallets like Paytm and new smart cards ‘Autope’ which may be linked with bank accounts. The new cards will automatically top up a customer‘s card upon swiping it at the fare collection gates, whenever the balance goes below Rs 100. The fresh recharge amount are going to be debited from the account linked with the cardboard . Older smart cards also can be equipped with this feature.
What are the changes inside the metro stations and train coaches?
There will be frequent announcements urging people to stick to social distancing for one. Not more than three people are going to be allowed inside lifts directly . One can expect more private security guards around. The public toilets are alleged to be sanitised more frequently, along side areas like lift buttons and handrails. Train frequency are going to be less initially and scaled up supported demand. Alternate seats will need to be left vacant and a distance of 1 metre will need to be maintained between two persons standing. Currently, around 250-300 commuters travel, on a mean , inside every coach. The new norms imply that an eight-coach train, which may carry upto 2,400 commuters, will ply with less than 500 people. Trains will stop for up to 30 seconds quite usual at stations to make sure social distancing among passengers boarding or alighting.
What other steps are expected to stop the spread of Covid-19?
As metro coaches are essentially closed spaces with central air-conditioning, the trains will halt at terminal stations with their doors hospitable infuse fresh air within the interiors. The temperature inside the coaches are going to be between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius and as far as possible. The parking facilities at the stations aren't likely to be available to discourage overcrowding. Feeder buses that connect stations with surrounding areas also are unlikely to function for a few time.