NEW DELHI: Lifeline of the national capital region, the Delhi Metro, is all set to ply on the tracks in a phased manner from Monday, after coming to a screeching halt almost six months due to coronavirus pandemic.
At a time when the capital city is reportedly witnessing a second wave of the viral infection, the government has allowed for the metro rail service to resume in a bid to restart the economy, while also keeping in mind the huge loss incurred by the corporation in the last few months.
Even though the government has, time and again, asserted that both lives and livelihood are important, several epidemiologists believe that resumption of the Metro will further increase the infection in the city.
"Over a period of next five days, rest of the lines will also be made operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19 in the Metro premises which requires everyone to follow a new normal of social distancing, face mask and hand sanitisation," said AnujDayal, DMRC's Executive Director of Corporate Communications on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday, only the yellow line, covering 49 kilometre with 37 stations consisting of 20 underground and 17 elevated stations, will remain operational for a period of four hours each in the morning from 7 am to 11 am and evening from 4 pm to 8 pm. People have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel as far as possible and advised to stagger travel timings for office, home, other works to the extent possible so that the carrying capacity offered with new norms can be reasonably utilized by creating a travel pattern in which people are not rushing to the station in morning or peak hours only.
"Rather, people are coming equitably at all hours of the operational timings of the Metro services to 'break the peak'- a requirement of the present times. Besides 'Break the Peak', DMRC appeals to commuters to 'Talk Less' during travel in the Metro to prevent the possibility of short-range aerosol transmission," DMRC said in a statement. To maintain orderliness and regulate flow of passengers with social distancing norms, only one or two gates will be kept open for entry and exit of passengers at a station.
DMRC said that apart from regular frontline staff at the stations, it has made additional deployment of around 1,000 officials and staff across the line to assist and guide passengers in the wake of new norms of travel which may take some time to settle in.
Though DMRC is making all out efforts to provide its passengers a continuous and seamless travel experience, however, with the carrying capacity of a train drastically reduced to around 20 per cent of the pre-lockdown period due to social distancing norms. (IANS)