KOLKATA: The Metro Railway in Kolkata on Wednesday said that it will run 192 trains in its north-south route and 48 services in the east-west corridor from July 16 for the public in consonance with the West Bengal government's order allowing it to run trains from Monday to Friday.
While the services will start from 8 am, the last train from both directions will leave the originating station at 8 pm, a Metro spokesperson said.
The trains will be run at 50 per cent seating capacity as per the state government's order, he said.
On every Saturday, the Metro will run 104 maintenance special services only for essential staff like before, he said, adding that no trains will be operated on Sundays.
The Metro will run a total of 192 services in the up and down directions between the two terminal stations, Dakshineswar and Kavi Subhash.
"A total of 48 services will be run on East-West Metro corridor in a similar time frame from Monday to Friday," the spokesperson said.
Commuters will be able to travel in the Metro in both routes only by using smart cards, he said.
Keeping in mind the experts warning regarding a possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the West Bengal government on Wednesday extended the ongoing restrictions till July 30, but also announced certain relaxations.
Metro Railway services are allowed to resume operations with 50 per cent seating capacity on weekdays, a government order said.
The local train services, however, will continue to remain suspended except for the staff special trains.
"The state executive committee of the state disaster management authority after a review of the current situation of the pandemic recommended further extension of restriction measures with graded and calibrated approach to relaxations," the order stated.
The restrictions, imposed on May 16, were last extended till July 15.
The West Bengal recorded 831 new cases Wednesday taking the tally of total positive cases to 15,13,845 while with 14 fresh fatalities the deaths figure has risen to 17,958 in the state.
There are 12,984 active cases presently in the state.
The order stated that public buses, taxis, autorickshaws have been permitted to operate with 50 per cent capacity.
Offices, both government and private, are also allowed to function with half the manpower, it said.
Gymnasiums and beauty parlours can also operate with 50 per cent strength from 11 am to 6 pm.
Only 50 people will be allowed to attend social gatherings such as weddings.
Vegetable markets can remain open from 6 am to noon, the order said.
All schools, colleges, universities, polytechnics, anganwadi centres and other educational institutions would continue to remain closed, the order said.
The order mentioned that all political, social, cultural and academic, entertainment-related gatherings and congregations would continue to be prohibited.
"All outdoor activities including movement of people and vehicles shall be strictly prohibited between 9 pm to 5 pm except for health services, law and order, essential commodities including agricultural produce and emergency services," the order said further stating that it should come into effect from July 16.
Meanwhile, in the wake of a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in the Darjeeling, the district administration has made it mandatory for tourists to carry with them either the certificate of getting double doses or reports of RT-PCR tests conducted 72 hours prior to visiting the hill station, an official said.
"Unless a tourist carries either of the two documents, he/ she will not get accommodation in any hotel or home stay," the official said.
The state reported 831 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the tally to 15,13,845, while the death toll mounted to 17,958 with 14 more fatalities, the health department said in a bulletin.
The state now has 12,984 active cases, and 14,82,903 people have recovered from the disease, it said.
The discharge rate improved to 97.96 per cent.
Of the fresh fatalities, three were reported from Nadia and two each from North 24 Parganas and Kolkata, the bulletin said.
North 24 Parganas accounted for 96 new cases, while 78 were recorded in Kolkata, 83 in Purba Medinipur and 74 in Darjeeling.
Altogether, 1,49,17,501 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in West Bengal, including 55,571 since Tuesday, the bulletin said.
Meanwhile,3,13,960 people were inoculated in the state on Wednesday, a health department official said.