Covid-19 has changed everything around us. Our Financial decisions, our moral values and most importantly, it has changed the way think. We all know that coronavirus is going to stay with us a litter longer and as per our honourable prime minister, “we need to learn to live with it”. To learn to live with Covid-19, we need to encounter certain challenges. Most unavoidable challenges lie before the Metro Rail Industry. In this article, I will discuss the possible challenges for Metro Railway Industries and their possible solutions.
- Air-Conditioned Coaches: – None of us would have ever thought that the comfort of seating in an Air-Conditioned coach could ever turn in to a nightmare for us. But today our realities have changed. Due to the presence of a single Covid-19 patient inside the A/C coach, there is a high chance that all other passengers might get infected. Post this lockdown, after the resumption of metro rail services, and metro rail organizations will have the most challenging job to decide how to run the trains for passenger service without compromising the passenger comfort. Other challenges would be “how cooling and ventilation can be maintained without putting the lives of the passenger at risk?”. When we think in this direction, an obvious solution comes to our mind is the screening of passenger before entry. However, we must note that screening before entry will work only for symptomatic patients but recently, we have learned that most of the cases in India are asymptotic. To deal with this, an SOP can be made which may comprise of the following: –
- Cooling Trains before boarding of passengers and then switching it off till next few stations.
- Sanitizing Train after passengers have deboarded and repeating point 1.
- Trains shall avoid long Journey to prevent suffocation.
- Availability of UV disinfectant lamps to disinfect the trains.
- Maintaining Strict Social distancing parameters.
Additionally, Metro Rail organization may organize online competition for accommodating innovative devices to deal with this problem.
- Ticket and Carriage Rules, 2014: Ministry of housing and urban affairs, has omitted the clause of preventing entry of people with contagious diseases. Preventing people on the ground of illness would be a violation of the fundamental rights and the violation of Ticket and Carriage Rules, 2014. Therefore, the government should come with an amendment for allowing screening of people for a temporary basis.
- Cash Management: Metro Railways will face a challenge to sanitize the cash on a daily basis. Completely opting the digital payment can also not be an efficient solution. As there are still a large part of our population, don’t have digital literacy. Therefore, we must think out of the box to counter this problem. In my opinion, a single point cash handling system can be made to reduce the hand to hand transfer of cash. Metro Rail Organizations may also organize an online competition to generate ideas on better cash management.
- Prevention of overcrowding at Station Area: In places like Delhi, overcrowding of stations can also prove to be a serious concern for Metro Rail Organization. Therefore, it is required that Metro Rail Organizations should think in this direction as well. Although I am no expert, I strongly believe that the following measures can aid in dealing with this problem: –
- An airport like Security measures.
- Not allowing passengers without Masks and Gloves.
- Circles on Platform and concourse to maintain the social distancing protocol. No more passengers than the number of circles should be allowed to enter the station premises.
Opinions shared above are purely mine, and It doesn’t reflect the opinion of the organization I am associated with.
In case you want to discuss more on my suggestions, then please write to me at [email protected]