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Unlock 4.0: Metro rail services to restart in graded manner from September 7, says Hardeep Singh Puri

The Maharashtra government has decided not to resume operation of metro rail services from September. Mumbai Line 1 and Maharashtra Metro operations to commence from Oct or as the state government decides further.

September 02, 2020 / 09:32 PM IST
The Delhi Metro was shut down in late March when the nationwide lockdown was announced.

The Delhi Metro was shut down in late March when the nationwide lockdown was announced.


Metro trains will resume operations in a graded manner and all metro networks having more than one line would open different lines starting from September 7 in a staggered manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on September 2.

"Metro rail operations are being resumed in a graded manner from September 7. Those metro systems which have more than one line will open different lines from September 7 in a calibrated manner, so that all corridors become operations by September 12," Puri told reporters.

Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur) Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOPs.

The government of Maharashtra has decided not to resume operation of metro during September 2020.  Hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maharashtra Metro operations shall commence from October 2020 or as the state government may decide further, he said.

“This opening up of the Metro rail services in a graded and calibrated manner will need to be reviewed. If we find that resumption of operations is not resulting in social distancing, then we might have no option but to review these arrangements,” he said.

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SOP guidelines have been prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which have been concurred by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Under its Unlock-4 plan, issued on August 29, the home ministry had allowed Metro services in a graded manner from September 7.

 Puri released the SOPs for the resumption of Metro services. These include:

Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with the resumption of full revenue service by September 12, 2020. Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains, the SOPs said.

​Stations/ entry-exit gates in containment zones to be closed.

​​In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done.

Wearing of face mask to be mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for the supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without a mask.

Only asymptomatic persons to be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations.  Symptomatic persons should be advised to go to nearby COVID Care Centre/Hospital for testing/medical attention. Use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged.

​Provision of sanitisers to be made at entry into the stations for use by passengers. Sanitisation of all areas having human interface viz. equipment, train, working area, lift, escalators, handrail, AFC gate, toilets etc. needs to be done at regular intervals.

​Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/ticket to be used with proper sanitization.

Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided to enable smooth boarding/deboarding ensuring social distancing. Metro rail corporations may also resort to skipping of stations to ensure proper social distancing.

​Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.

​Operation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system as per the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) & Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) guidelines. Intake of fresh air in air-conditioning system to be increased to the extent possible.

​Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passenger and staff through electronic/print/social media, poster, banner, hoarding, website etc.

​Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowd outside station and to deal with contingencies.

Will name and shame those violating norms of social distancing and those not wearing masks at metro stations, officials said.
 If passengers do not follow the SOPs, strict action would be taken against them. "Metro trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not maintaining social distancing," secretary, housing and urban affairs ministry Durga Shanker Mishra said.

 

DMRC will reopen operations in a staggered manner.

In the first stage, Delhi Metro services will operate in two shifts -- 7-11 am and 4-8 pm; normal operations from Sept 12: DMRC chief Mangu Singh told reporters.

As part of Phase 1 Delhi Metro Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre will be operational from September 7, he said.

"In phase 1, on  Sept 7, we are planning to start Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre. In phase 2, on 9th Sept we will start three more lines, Blue Line, Pink Line and Gurgaon Line," Singh said.

From September 9 onwards Blue Line from Dwarka Sec-21 to Noida Electronic City/Vaishali and Line-7 (Pink Line) from Majlis Park to Shiv Vihar will become operational.

From September 10,  Red Line from Rithala to Shaheed Sthal New Bus Adda, Line-5 (Green Line) from Kirti Nagar/Inderlok to Brig. Hoshiar Singh (Bahadurgarh) and Line-6 (Violet Line) from Kashmere Gate to Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabhgarh) will commence operations, Singh said.

As part of stage two,  Line-8 (Magenta Line) from Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden & Line-9 (Grey Line) from Dwarka to Najafgarh will be also made operational on September 11.

As part of stage three, the Airport Express Line from New Delhi to Dwarka Sec-21 will be also operational from September 12, Singh added.
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Sep 2, 2020 07:25 pm

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