New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delhi Metro resumed operations in a graded manner today after remaining off tracks for 169 days in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking to Twitter, DMRC said: “We are on our way. It's been 169 days since we've seen you! Travel responsibly and commute if it's only necessary.”

The services in the national capital resumed with curtailed operation of the Yellow Line which connects Samaypur Badli in Delhi to the HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon.

With the Centre recently allowing metro services to resume under Unlock 4.0 in a graded manner, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said it would be done in three stages from September 7-12. 

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) authorities on Sunday reiterated that stations located in containment zones, as per the status on the day of journey, will remain closed. Officials of the urban transporter had earlier cautioned that "trains may not stop at some of the stations" if social distancing norms are not adhered to by passengers.

Trains will operate in batches of four-hour each from 7-11 am in the morning and 4-8 pm in the evening in the first stage, officials said. 

"On this Monday and Tuesday, only the Yellow line (49 km span with 37 stations -- 20 underground and 17 elevated ones) will remain operational for a period of four hours each in the morning (7 AM to 11 AM) and evening (4 PM to 8 PM)," it said.

"Trains will be available with a headway varying from 2'44'' to 5'28” (at different stretches) with 57 trains performing around 462 trips. The same will be further extended in a graded manner from September 9-12 along with other lines," the DMRC said.

Over a period of next five days, 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 use and regular hand sanitisation, the officials said.

At the point of entry at 45 stations, automated thermal screening-cum-sanitiser dispensers have been installed, which can read a commuter's body temperature once he or she puts the forehead in front of it, and sanitiser will drop from a dispenser below, once hands are kept below the nozzle.

This facility will be available at 17 metro stations, including Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat and Vishwavidyalaya stations of the Yellow Line, which resume services on September 7.

At other stations, auto-dispenser for sanitiser will be there, but thermal screening will be done manually using a thermal gun, the officials said.

Also, at 16 metro stations spanning 50 lifts, including at Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, IGI Airport, Hauz Khas, and Mandi House, push-button facilities to call a lift has been disabled, and commuters can press a foot pedal to call it, and beyond that the lift will operate automatically, from vertical movement to opening and closing of doors.

Also as per the COVID-19 safety norms, a maximum of three passengers will be allowed in a lift at a time at any station, a senior official said.

Inside the coaches, commuters will have to sit on alternate seats and maintain prescribed distance even while standing. Stickers have been put up on alternate seats and on platforms to maintain social distancing.

The stoppage duration of trains will be longer, and from 10-15 seconds at each station it will be increased to 20-25 seconds, and at interchange facilities, it will be increased from 35-40 seconds to 55-60 seconds, when services resume.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta