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Metro services from Sept 7, these will be new rules

Sept. 2, 2020, 8:35 p.m.

New Delhi, Sep 2: Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel in Delhi Metro trains after September 7. The passengers will be thermal-screened at the entrance of the stations and would only be allowed in if their temperature is normal.

Besides, entry to stations falling under containment zones would be banned, said Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, on Wednesday.

Puri informed about the latest changes while commuting via Metro as he announced the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed during the Metro operations that are scheduled to restart from coming Monday. The guidelines were prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

However, the government of Maharashtra has decided not to resume operation of the Mumbai Metro during September, Puri informed. “Hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maharashtra Metro operations shall commence from October, 2020 or as state government may decide further,” he added.

Puri said that the Metro operations would resume in a graded manner. He directed the Metro corporations having more than one line to open different lines starting from September 7 onwards in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12.

“Daily hours of operations may stagger initially, which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by September 12. The corporations should regulate the frequency of Metro trains to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains,” he added.

As per the guidelines shared by urban housing ministry:

a) Stations/entry-exit gates in containment zones would be closed.

b) To ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done.

c) Wearing a face mask is mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without masks.

d) 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. The use of Aarogya Setu app would be encouraged.

e) Provision of sanitisers would 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.

f) Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/tickets to be used with proper sanitisation.

g) 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.

h) Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.

i) 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. The intake of fresh air in the air-conditioning system would be increased to the possible extent.

j) Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passengers and staff through electronic/print/social media, posters, banners, hoardings, websites etc.

k) Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowds outside stations and to deal with contingencies.

Based on above guidelines, Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur) Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOPs, the ministry informed.

IANS

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