Metro services resume amid fears of second wave of virus with strict social distancing, contactless tickets
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Metro services resumed across the country today in a graded manner after being closed for over five months in wake of the pandemic. As per the guidelines issued by the government, the metro stations falling in COVID-19 containment zones will remain closed.
The Union housing and urban affairs ministry has said that trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not maintaining social distancing.
The resumption of metro services comes at a time when the country is recording over 80,000 COVID-19 cases per day - the highest single-day toll in the world. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that some parts of India are witnessing a secind wave of coronavirus cases.
The Delhi Metro is all set to resume services in three stages from Monday, even as it appealed to people to use the rapid transport only if urgently needed.
DMRC authorities on Sunday reiterated that stations located in containment zones, as per the status on the day of journey, will remain closed. Also, trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not maintaining social distancing.
The Delhi Metro services will be resumed in a staggered manner in three stages from September 7-12, with the Yellow Line or Line 2 connecting Samyapur Bali in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon and the Rapid Metro to be the first ones to be made operational on September 7.
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.
"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)," the DMRC 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.
In keeping with the new normal, the Delhi Metro has taken a slew of measures to ensure least physical contact for riders when it resumes services, like an automated thermal screening-cum-sanitiser dispenser and lift calling system driven by a foot pedal.
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.
The DMRC has 10 lines spanning 242 stations, and 264 stations including the Rapid Metro in Gurgaon.
Delhi Metro will resume services two days after the city recorded 2,973 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike in 71 days, as the tally in the city mounted to over 1.88 lakh.
The first run started on the Purple Line today while the trains on Green Line will operate from September 9.
In the Purple Line, the trains will run for six hours till September 10 only during the peak hours -- three hours in the morning from 8 am to 11 am and 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm.
In the Green Line, the trains will operate for two days only during peak hours -- three hours in the morning and three in the evening.
From September 11 onwards, the trains will ply on both the lines from 7 am to 9 pm.
According to BMRCL, the dwell time in each station will be 60 seconds so that passengers shall maintain social distancing while boarding and deboarding. At the Kempe Gowda interchange station, the dwell time will be 75 seconds.
Gates will not be opened in stations coming under the containment zones, it said. The Metro Rail has also made it clear that all passengers will have to use smart cards as token tickets will not be sold.
No card recharge will be done at the stations. Instead, the passengers will have to top up their cards using the BMRCL's mobile application.
In place of card readers at the entry and exit points,there will be flash readers. Metro Rail authorities noted that the BMRCL incurred huge loss to the tune of crores of rupees during the lockdown.
With Lucknow Metro resuming operations, it has become the first metro service in India to use ultraviolet (UV) technology for token sanitisation for passenger safety, the organisation said in a statement here.
Kumar Keshav, Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC), on Sunday conducted an inspection and checked an overview of operational preparedness from Hazratganj to Munshipulia stations.
The Lucknow Metro said it has laid special emphasis on contactless travel, sanitisation, social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness. Various rigorous steps have been undertaken to ensure a safe and convenient commuting experience for passengers.
Social distancing markers have been placed on alternate seats to maintain sufficient gap between passengers inside the train.
Frequently touched areas inside trains like grab rails, grab poles, grab handles, passenger seats and door surfaces from the inside are sanitised regularly.
Lucknow Metro has also become the first metro with cashless facility of multiple tokens/tickets with GoSmart card.
A GoSmart user has a contactless trip right from entering the metro station, boarding the train to exiting the premises. The automatic sensor of AFC gates detects the card from a distance without tapping it. So, the only thing a GoSmart card user comes in contact with are the sanitised train seats.
Social distancing markings and signages are in place at all stations to ensure an adequate gap among passengers while queuing up near ticket counters, ticket vending machines, security check frisking points, entry-exit AFC gates, etc, the statement further said.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta