New Delhi, May 16 : Face masks, contactless ticketing, thermal screening and longer travel time and halts at stations can be expected in the Metro, if it gets approval to run in the lockdown 4.0 after May 17.
While the Central government is yet to announce the relaxations in the next edition of the lockdown, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to resume operations — stopped since March 22 — on a short notice.
Speaking to IANS, an official from the DMRC said among the precautions people need to take will be installing the Aarogya Setu app in their mobile phones, wearing masks and social distancing.
“We are all prepared to start the services even on a short notice. People will have to be careful too, if the services are started,” the official told IANS.
On the changes in the services, the official said the halts at the stations will be longer than usual so that people will not have to rush to board the trains.
“The crowd at the Metro stations will also be checked and people will not be allowed to entre if there were enough people already inside the station. Also, if needed, the entry gates will be closed,” the official added.
The official added that thermal screening of all the passengers will be done and those having flu-like symptoms will be barred from entering.
“Stickers are already being pasted on stations and inside the metro reminding people to maintain social distancing. So, whenever the services will be started, we are ready with our preparedness.”
While sitting arrangements were done for alternate seats, only limited people will be allowed to stand inside the trains, the official said.
The Delhi government has written to the Centre urging it to allow the Metro. However, it has demanded that only employees of the Union and city governments, Central and state PSUs, local bodies/government autonomous bodies, and persons providing essential services be allowed on production of ID cards and passes.
Meanwhile, Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, DMRC has said that the decision to resume Metro rail services in Delhi-NCR will be taken by the government after which the detailed protocol to be followed by passengers for traveling in the Metro will be shared with the public.
“At present, DMRC is taking up necessary cleaning mechanisms inside the trains and indoor areas of stations such as entrance lobbies, corridors, staircases, escalators, elevators, security areas etc. Other necessary logistical arrangements such as provision for hand sanitization/thermal screening at stations and installation of social distancing related signages are also being handled in the interim,” Dayal said.
According to the official data, there are 264 stations, 2,200 coaches and over 1,100 escalators and 1,000 lifts for common use. With a network of 389-km across the national capital region, the Metro ferried about 60 lakh people per day in February.