KOLKATA: Kolkata Metro will resume limited services soon, the authorities said on Monday.
It was not possible to operate Kolkata’s lifeline from the first day of July but limited services for those who are involved in emergency services would be resumed shortly, the authorities said, adding that for this they would need a nod from the Union ministry of health and family affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs.
The metro authorities held a meeting with state government officials on Monday after responding to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request to resume services for commuters from July 1.
"We are not in a position to resume services like that of the pre-lockdown period. Maintaining social distancing in coaches is our priority. We will resume limited services for those who are engaged in emergency services. We will chalk out a plan in this regard and hold a meeting again with the state government to finalise what will be the style of our operation," said Indrani Mukherjee, spokesperson of Metro railways in Kolkata.
Earlier, Mamata had said the state government would request the Metro railway to resume services by allowing the exact number of commuters of a rake’s capacity.
"In today’s meeting, the Metro authorities wanted us to clarify how we would control the assembly of commuters and ensure social distancing norms outside the Metro stations. They asked us to write our proposals to the railway board chairman," said an official of the state government.
Metro railway operates 288 trains on weekdays. "But we will not be able to maintain the number now. We have a manpower crisis. We will run only limited trains," said Indrani Mukherjee.
However, the process of identifying commuters before allowing them to avail Metro services is yet to be finalised. "There can be two methods. Either, we will issue e-passes for eligible commuters or we will ask commuters to produce their identity cards while entering a Metro station," said the official.