Delhi Metro has assured that it would strive to provide a safe commuting experience to travellers once it resumes operations on September 7, Metro officials said. As part of Unlock 4 guidelines, Centre allowed metro services to restart across the country.
“Once metro services resume from September 7, the DMRC will strive to facilitate all necessary measures and precautions on its premises to provide a safe travelling experience to its commuters amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Executive Director, Corporate Communications, DMRC, Anuj Dayal said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday issued Unlock 4 guidelines, permitting metro rail operations from September 7 in a graded manner.
The Delhi government also issued a statement saying, services will resume with all safety precautions.
"For the time being, no tokens will be issued to passengers due to high risk of virus spreading through it. There will be a system of purchasing smart cards at every station and passengers will be able to travel only with smart cards," Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot was quoted as saying in the statement.
Metro stations in containment zones will still not immediately open when Metro operations restart on September 7.
“Not all Metro stations will be opened at once. Those in containment zones and few others will not be opened immediately from the first day. A list of stations where travel services are being restored will be made public soon,” he said.
There are as many as 260 Metro stations in Delhi and there are more than 800 containment zones.
Further details on the Metro's functioning and its usage by the general public will be shared once the SOPs are finalised.
The SOPs already circulated will be discussed on September 1, 2020 through video conference by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) with all metro companies and finalised, the MoHUA said in a statement.
Limiting number of people in lifts and longer halting time for trains at stations to allow commuters to board and alight with social distancing norms, are among the measures the Delhi Metro intends to put in place to ensure safer travel for its passengers.
Wearing of masks will be mandatory and social distancing norms will be followed as per government guidelines inside the stations.
New smart cards with auto top-up facility and stickers on social distancing norms will be pasted on seats and platform floors.
Limiting the number of people in lifts, longer halting time for trains at stations to allow commuters to board and alight with social distancing norms are among the measures the Delhi Metro will take to ensure safer travel for its passengers.
A train on regular days, halts for 10 seconds to 30 seconds at a station, depending on the traffic flow and the nature of station. Now, trains will halt for longer duration than 10 seconds or 30 seconds
Also, 2-3 persons will be permissible inside a lift at any point of time against 8-9 on regular days, he said.
The lifeline of Delhi and its suburbs, which carries 1.8 million passengers a day, the Delhi Metro was shut down in late March as the country was put under a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Shut for more than four months following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi Metro, the lifeline of the National Capital Region, has lost approximately Rs 1,500 crore in revenue, sources have told Moneycontrol.
“The DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) normally earns Rs 300 crore every month,” a source said.
Normally, the DMRC has 300 trains running on eight lines, making 5,000 trips a day and carrying around 1.8 million passengers. But with the trains halted in their tracks, it hasn’t earned a penny in the past four months.
The transporter’s income from other sources, such as commercial and retail leases, has also dried up during the pandemic.