(Image source from: livemint.com)
Metro rail services will resume from September 7 across India except for Maharashtra under the Unlock 4.0.
Asa part of Unlock 4.0, metro services across India are all set to reopen after 5 months of the services being shutting down.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, thew metro operations will be resumed in a phased and staggered manner.
The central government on Wednesday has issued the SOP’s and guidelines for reopening the metro travel which includes the compulsory wearing of masks and following social distancing.
However, the government of Maharashtra has decided to not start the operations of the metro rail in the month of September. Hence, Mumbai Line 1 and Maha Metro services will start in October or any time decided by the state government.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the metro services will still be shut in containment zones.
Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line 1, Hyderabad, Gujarat, Kolkata, and UP metro have issued their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) as mentioned below.
Guidelines and SOP’s issued by the Centre:
- Metros having more than one line should open different lines from September 7 in a graded manner so that all the corridors become operational by September 12.
- Daily hours of operations will be staggered initially and will be gradually increased with the resumption of full revenue service by September 12.
- Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains.
- In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside the trains will be done.
- Wearing of facemasks to be mandatory for all the passengers and also for the staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for the supply of face masks on a payment basis for the people arriving without masks.
- Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations.
- Symptomatic patients will be advised to go to the nearby COVID-19 care centers or hospitals for testing and medical attention.
- Use of Aarogya Setu app to be encouraged.
- Provision of sanitizers to be made at entry gates for use by the passengers. Sanitization of all areas having human interface like equipment, train, working area, lift escalators, handrail, AFC gate, toilets, etc to be done at regular intervals.
- The use of smartcards or cashless transactions will be encouraged. Tokens or paper slips or paper tickets to be used with proper sanitization.
- Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided to enable smooth boarding or deboarding to ensure social distancing.
- Metro rails may also resort to skipping stations to ensure proper social distancing.
- Passengers will be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.
- Operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system will be done as per the public works department and the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers guidelines. Intake of fresh air in the air-conditioning system to be increased to the extent possible.
- Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with the state police and local administration for the regulating crowd outside the stations and to deal with the contingencies.
By Gayatri Yellayi