All metro lines will become operational by September 12 even as metro services will resume in a graded manner across the country from September 7, according to Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Passengers will have to follow the COVID-19 preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face mask, the minister told an online media briefing. Moreover, metro stations in containment zones will remain closed, he further said.
Metro trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not maintaining social distancing, according to the ministry.
Here are the broad features of the guidelines regarding the resumption of metro services:
- Metros having more than one line should open different lines starting from September 7 onwards in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12.
- Stations or entry and exit gates of stations in containment zones will remain closed.
- Suitable markings at stations and inside trains will be done in order to ensure social distancing.
- All passengers and staff need to mandatorily wear face masks. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis for those not wearing one.
- Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations.
- Symptomatic people should be advised to go to the nearby COVID Care Centre/Hospital for testing or medical attention. The use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged.
- Sanitisers will be made available at entry into the stations for use by passengers.
- The use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions will be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/tickets to be used after proper sanitisation.
- Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided. The metro rail corporations may also resort to skipping of stations to ensure proper social distancing.
- Passengers will be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.
Metro services were suspended in late March when the lockdown was announced by the Centre to check the spread of the virus. In Delhi, metro services have been suspended since March 22.
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.
It may be noted that the Maharashtra government has decided not to resume operation of metro during September and therefore, Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro services shall start from October or as the state government may decide further, according to a release.