The Metros across the nation have resumed their services after the Centre gave a green signal for restarting the metro services in a graded manner. The metros have already been opened up and are expected to be fully operational by September 7. The Metros which possess only one line are fully operational in all cities except Nagpur and Mumbai due to the state government’s decision to go for a further lockdown of one month.
The metros having more than one line have opened their first line. The DMRC has opened up its yellow line on September 7 while the rest lines are expected to provide services by September 12. According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the set of things need to be taken care of while the metro starts providing their services again.
These guidelines are:
1. Stations in containment zones will be closed.
2. To ensure physical distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains will be
3. 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
4. Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into
5. Provision of sanitisers would be made an entry into the stations for use by passengers.
6. Sanitisation of all areas having human interface needs to be done at regular intervals.
7. Use of Smart Card and cashless transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slip tickets to be used with proper sanitisation.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.
8. Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic
items for easy and quick scanning.
The government has already notified that the metros are needed to operate their Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems according to the guidelines issued by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE). These guidelines are for increasing the fresh air intake which the metro corporations are already working on. Many of the Metro Corporations have said that they have planned in such a manner that the metro coaches get maximum fresh air while operating.
The metros are indeed not as safer as your private vehicles today due to Coronavirus spread but when as far as Public transportation is concerned, Metros are safest among all. It would help if you were calm and relaxed when you board a metro next time. You will feel a contactless service at the metro stations once you ride on a metro. However, People are encouraged not to travel for leisure. The need of the time is to travel only for essential works like going to office etc. We can hope for a safer and better journey in metros as compared to the other modes of transportation.