The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Wednesday announced guidelines for metro operations, which are set to resume from September 7 across the country in a graded manner. There are 17 metro corporations in the country. With the issuing of the detailed SOPs, they can now release their own details keeping in mind local requirements.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued the Unlock 4 guidelines on Saturday under which metro trains would be allowed to resume services from September 7.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Metro services will resume in a graded manner from September 7 and passengers will have to follow preventive measures against COVID-19 such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face mask. Addressing an online media briefing, the Union housing and urban affairs minister said all Metro lines will become operational by September 12.
Following are the guidelines:
1. Metros having more than one line should open different lines staring from September 7 onward in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12. The daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by September 12. The frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains.
2. Stations and entry-exit gates in containment zones to be closed.
3. In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done.
4. Wearing of face mask to be mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without mask.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/ticket to be used with proper sanitization.
8. 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.
9. Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.
10. 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.
11. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passenger and staff through electronic/print/social media, poster, banner, hoarding, website etc.
12. Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowd outside station and to deal with contingencies.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief Mangu Singh said the Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre will be operational from September 7 and services on Airport Express Line will resume from September 12. He said that in the first stage, Delhi Metro services will operate in two shifts -- 7-11 am and 4-8 pm.
In the second stage, trains will be available from 7 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm, he said, adding that normal operations will resume from September 12.