Face masks will be made available to commuters on payment basis at three stations of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro, which resumes service from Monday after a gap of over five months, officials said on Sunday.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) had suspended the rail service in March amid COVID-19 outbreak and has announced a slew of guidelines including social distancing and face covers/masks for commuters from Monday.
Commuters have also been warned of a fine of Rs 500 if found without face mask and Rs 100 for spitting in trains and on metro premises. The NMRC has set up counters at a few selected metro stations where masks will be available on payment basis for needy commuters for a minimum of Rs 5 and maximum Rs 30 for each mask. The stations where these counters will be set up are Sector 51, NSEZ and Pari Chowk, NMRC Managing Director Ritu Maheshwari said in a statement.
The masks are being made by Ranganathan Society for Social Welfare, an NGO being run with the support of BIMTECH (Birla Institute of Management Technology) as a means to generate livelihood for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
This is a way of encouraging the general public to wear masks whenever they have to travel in the metro, Maheshwari added. Meanwhile, trial runs of the metro were conducted again between Noida and Greater Noida to check preparedness of the services.
NMRC Executive Director Praveen Mishra conducted a detailed inspection of the complete Aqua Line. The NMRC also ran the full train trials of the trains according to the time table that will be followed from September 7 onwards, according to a statement.
The NMRC had earlier said only passengers with face mask and body temperature not more than 37.7 degrees Celsius shall be allowed entry, as it stressed the need to follow social distancing norms, among other rules and regulations set by the government amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The trains would run from 7 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 9 pm with a frequency of 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays the services will start from 8 am, it had added.
The Aqua Line, which connects the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar, over a distance of 29 km through 15 stations has an average daily ridership of around 25,000 passengers, according to officials.