From thermal scanners for temperature checks to stickers on seats and platforms for social distancing, Delhi Metro is all geared up to welcome passengers back once services resume.
The lifeline of Delhi and its suburbs, which carries 1.8 million passengers a day, was shut down in late March as the country locked down to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is expected to begin partial operations when more restrictions are rolled back from September 1. The home ministry is expected to issue the guidelines for the so-called Unlock Phase 4 later this week.
A lot has changed since late March. Strict protocols and social-distancing norms are likely to be in place when you hop on to the train the next time
Here is how your metro journey will likely be:
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Trains are expected to run for shorter duration, from 7 am to 8 pm
Clean hands: Hand sanitisers will be provided to passengers. As much as 3,000 litres of the sanitising liquid will be needed every day for the staff and passengers.
Single entry and exit: Only one entry and one exit gate will remain open at the stations.
Limited passengers: Only government, PSU employees and those engaged in essential services may be allowed to enter after an identity check.
Contactless frisking: Like at the airport, passengers will be thermally screened. Aarogya Setu app will be a must to enter the station.
Markers: Red lines to maintain distance have been drawn next to gates and security check areas.
Escalators: Alternate steps on escalators will have to be kept vacant.
No tokens: To promote greater e-transaction and prevent the spread of virus, the new facility will enable riders to get their smart cards auto-topped at automatic fare collection (AFC) gates. The new smart card is available on the Autope app. Old smartcards can also be upgraded to avail this facility
At the station
Trains will be thoroughly disinfected.
There will be markers on platforms for social distancing. Large stickers bearing 'Ensure Social Distancing' message will be pasted on floors.
As many as 50,000 such stickers will be used.
Trains will not stop at every station.
Passengers will have to maintain one metre distance at entry, security check, platforms and inside the coaches.
Train doors may be left open for a longer time to let in fresh air.
Travel time may get extended to allow boarding and deboarding without attracting crowds.
Inside the coach
Only 300-350 passengers will be allowed to take the train. In normal times, a six-coach train carried 1,800 passengers. On some of the busy routes, DMRC also runs trains with eight coaches.
The number of commuters will be limited. To begin with, the service will likely be available for only government servants and those with essential services like doctors, grocers and chemists.
Only alternate seats will be available.
Air conditioning will be set at 26 degrees Celsius.
Commuters will have to wear a mask throughout the journey.
Parking facilities at the stations and feeder buses will not be available.
Metro stations in containment zones will remain shut. Trains will skip stations in areas reporting coronavirus cases.
Passengers with high temperature and flu symptoms will not be allowed to get on to the system.