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Delhi Metro services to be restored to pre-COVID levels from September 12

Ridership touched 84,841 on September 10; Magenta and Grey lines to resume operations starting September 11.

Representative image

Representative image

After resuming services on most of its lines over the last few days under Stage-I of the graded resumption of metro services, the Delhi Metro will restart services on the Magenta and Grey lines from September 11 onward. Metro services will be restored to pre-COVID levels from September 12, officials said.

On September 10, around 84,841 passengers boarded the metro as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) Red, Green, and Violet lines resumed services with the same schedule of four hours of passenger service each in the morning and evening, under Stage-I plan of resumption of services. Seven lines of the Delhi Metro network are now open.

The Magenta line (Line 8) runs from Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden (37.5 km with 25 stations) and the Grey line (Line 9) from Dwarka to Najafgarh (4.3 km and three stations).

Since September 7, metro trains were being operated for 4 hours each in the morning and evening. All the lines pressed into service until September 11, 2020, under both stages I and II, will be operational for 6 hours each-- in the morning (from 7 am to 1 pm) and evening (4 pm to 10 pm)-- with broadly the same frequency prior to the lockdown.

These service timings will remain valid only for September 11, and normal timings, from 6 am to 11 pm, will become applicable from September 12 onward on all lines after the last line of Delhi Metro network (the Airport Express Line from New Delhi to Dwarka Sec-21) is made operational under Stage-III, the last stage under graded resumption plan of Metro services.

On Sundays, starting September 20, train services will commence at 8 am. However, this Sunday i.e. September 13, services on these lines will commence at 6 am as per the existing schedule.

All lines of the Delhi Metro network, comprising 349 km and 253 Metro stations, will be fully operational and restored to pre-COVID levels once again from September 12 onward.

"Owing to new norms of social distancing in place now which has significantly reduced the number of passengers on trains, DMRC has also decided to run the peak hour frequency of trains from 8 am to 8 pm, doing away with the concept of off-peak hours from 11 am to 4 pm where services were available with less trains/trips earlier," said Anuj Dayal, executive director, Corporate Communications, DMRC.

General public is once again advised to adhere to social distancing norms/guidelines during the Metro travel due to ongoing pandemic and also keep following DMRC’s website/social media platforms for regular updates on various dos and don'ts required to be followed in these times for their own convenience, before heading out for the Metro station, he said.

The home ministry had issued guidelines allowing metro services in the country to resume operations in a graded manner, following which DMRC had said it would be done in three stages from September 7-12. DMRC had appealed to passengers to travel light and "talk less inside trains to prevent the possibility of short-range aerosol transmission".

Due to the pandemic and strict social distancing norms, the carrying capacity of a train has been drastically reduced to around 20 percent of the pre-lockdown period.Passengers have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel as far as possible.

Besides Delhi, Metro networks also restarted operations on September 7 in a graded manner in Lucknow, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, but remained closed in Mumbai, Nagpur, Kolkata and Jaipur.
The Kolkata Metro, the country's first rapid transit system, is yet to resume service.

The Maharashtra government had on September 1 decided against the immediate resumption of Metro and local train services. No decision has been taken yet on restarting metro services in Jaipur.

Vandana Ramnani
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Sep 10, 2020 11:01 am