NEW DELHI: After a break of almost five months, Delhi Metro is ready to welcome commuters again, but with a lot of precautions and dos and don’ts in place.
As per the ‘new normal’, the guidelines issued by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have asked commuters to travel only when necessary. On Monday, only the Yellow Line corridor from Samyapur Badli to HUDA City Centre in Gurugram will be operational between 7 am till 11 am and again from 4 pm to 8 pm.
By September 12, all lines will be made fully operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19. The DMRC has asked travelers to ‘talk less’ inside to avoid transmission of the virus. All the metro users should add extra time to travel plans since the stoppage time of trains at every station was increased by 10 seconds so that social distancing can be maintained by commuters while boarding or alighting.
“With the carrying capacity of a train drastically reduced to around 20% of the pre-lockdown period due to social distancing norms, it will be a challenge to regulate the passengers who may head to a station with the expectations of a pre-lockdown travel experience,” said a DMRC official.
To avoid overcrowding, DMRC officials appealed people to ‘break the peak’, where passengers stagger travel time so that the carrying capacity offered with new norms can be reasonably utilised by creating a travel pattern in which people are not rushing to the station in morning or peak hours only.
Officials said at all stations, the CISF staff will be doing ‘contactless frisking’ and red lines have been drawn at a gap of 1 ft to ensure social distancing.
The Delhi government will provide civil defence volunteers to help the DMRC staff in managing the crowd, informed state transport minister Kailash Gahlot, who visited the Rajiv Chowk metro station to take stock of the arrangements.
The Delhi Metro operations were suspended 169 days ago, on March 22.