New Delhi ( Metro Rail News ) – As the DMRC prepares to open up its 389 KM long network, it is taking a lot of measures to make a Covid resistant environment. One of the key measures Delhi Metro is looking at is managing air circulation, to allow more fresh air from outside and to disperse any suspended viral particles. This will raise temperatures further from what’s to now be maintained inside coaches as a precaution against the coronavirus — in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius.
When the trains are running with commuters, the air inside the coaches constantly get pulled in by the HVAC (heat, ventilation, air-conditioning), is cooled, filtered, and then released back. Outside air sucked in by the system is also released simultaneously into the coaches after passing through the same cooling and filtration units.
Consequently, air inside Delhi Metro coaches is fully replaced by outside air every 2 minutes and 33 seconds. The same process takes 3 minutes and 20 seconds in New York City subway, which since May 6 has shut down its services daily between 1 am and 5 am for disinfection drives — the first time in its history.
Metro officials are planning to open fresh air dampers, which are essentially inlets to let air into the coaches, by up to 50 to 60 per cent more than usual. As a result, the interiors of the coaches will have temperatures between 24-30 degrees Celsius and may feel warmer than usual.
About the HVAC units, Metro officials said these had two types of filters — fresh air filters and return air filters, both made up of wire mesh and fibre to trap particles. “The cleaning frequency of HVAC filters will be doubled.
In accordance with guidelines prepared by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Metro trains will also halt for longer duration at terminal stations with their doors open to let fresh air in.
Apart from this, Delhi Metro is also taking other precautionary measures such as sanitising passenger contact areas such as hand rails, poles and seats using Virex II 256, known to be a powerful disinfectant.