Decks have been cleared to restart the Delhi metro from September 7 after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal accepted a proposal for the same from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, though with strict social distancing norms.
The decision to restart the metro service follows a five-month shutdown caused by coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The decision was taken on Wednesday by the lieutenant governor at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, of which he is Chairperson.
The use of masks and smart cards (to eliminate unnecessary physical contact from use of tokens) have been made mandatory and the air conditioning system inside coaches will be “renovated” to ensure circulation of fresh air. “We are yet to take a decision on what should be the optimum temperature inside the trains,” transport minister Kailash Gehlot told NDTV, adding that hand sanitiser would be provided at stations and thermal scans would be compulsory as well.
Besides, the trains would not stop at all stations as they will be re-opened in phases. Stations falling in the containment zones will definitely remain shut till further orders.
The Unlock-4 guidelines issued by the Union government allows metro rail services across India to start on Saturday, but in a graded manner, with strict rules to minimise contact between people and stop the Covid-19 virus from spreading further.