New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Wednesday issued guidelines for the resumption of metro train services across the country "in a graded manner". "Multi-route Metro networks should resume trains from Sept 7 in a graded manner so that all lines are operational by Sept 12," Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. 

Announcing the SOPs, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that metro stations falling in COVID-19 containment zones will remain closed.

"Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by September 12, 2020. Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains," the SOP said.  

Also, Metro trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not maintaining social distancing. 

"If we find that resumption of operations is not resulting in social distancing, then, we might have no option but to review these arrangements," Puri warned.

"Only asymptomatic persons to be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations. Symptomatic persons should be advised to go to nearby COVID Care Centre/Hospital for testing/medical attention. Use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged," the SOP read. 

The guidelines further said that the use of Smart card and cashless transactions be encouraged, whereas tokens will be properly sanitised. 

Meanwhile, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation also issued its guidelines ahead of the resumption of metro train services in the national capital, with only one line - Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre - to be operational initially. 

The Delhi Metro will resume its services completely in three phases. In Phase 1, the trains operate in two shifts -- 7-11 am and 4-8 pm on the Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre. 

In Phase 2, three more lines - Blue, Pink and Gurgaon Line - will resume operations from September 9. In phase 3, on 10th Sept, after observing the operation and its impact, operations on Red Line (Ghaziabad to Rithala), the Bahadurgarh line, and the Faridabad line will resume. 

As per an official release, Metro rail corporations will keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowd outside station and to deal with contingencies.

"Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur) Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOPs. Government of Maharashtra has decided not to resume operation of metro in September 2020. Hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro operations shall commence from October 2020 or as the State Government may decide further," it said.

The Home Ministry, in its Unlock 4 guidelines, gave permission for the functioning of metro rails across the country in a graded manner. The guidelines gave more relaxations in the restrictions enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta