Kolkata, Sep 14: Around 20,500 passengers travelled on the Kolkata Metro which resumed operations on Monday with reduced services and safety protocols after a gap of more than five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said. Passengers were happy to be back on the Metro premises after March 23, when regular services were suspended to stem the spread of coronavirus infection. Special trains, however, were run for NEET aspirants and their guardians on Sunday.
“Services resumed at 8 am and around 20,500 commuted till 8 pm. The last trains from the originating stations on both sides commenced their journey at 7 pm and completed it by 8 pm,” Metro Railway General Manager Manoj Joshi told PTI. Previously, Metro services were available for longer durations.
Joshi said that all safety protocols including social distancing norms were followed. Trains halted at stations for 30 seconds instead of 20 seconds, as was the previous practice, to avoid rush during boarding and deboarding, a Metro Railway spokesperson said.
A total of 110 trains 55 each in up and down directions were operated on the Noapara-Kavi Subhash line at an interval of 10 minutes during peak hours, she said. Similarly, 72 trains were run on the East-West line between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium stations, the spokesperson said.
She said that services will remain suspended on Sundays for sanitisation of rakes and stations. The Metro Railway has decided to allow a maximum of 400 passengers on a train to avoid over-crowding.
Commuters booked their tickets online and downloaded e-passes to enter the station complex where they underwent thermal screening. “This is a welcome change. Everything was so smooth and the staff was cooperative. I hope this continues in the future. We cannot do without Metro services,” said Kinshuk Basu, a commuter.
Aparna Maity, another passenger, said that the no- contact ticketing system is ideal in the present situation. Sandeep Tewary, a middle-aged commuter, however, said that he faced difficulty in downloading the e-pass to board a train at Sovabazar station.
Passengers will have to wear masks covering their mouth and nose and sanitise their hands before boarding a train, another Metro Railway official said. Metro Railway authorities have urged elderly people and children, besides those with fever, cough and cold, not to undertake the journey.
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor