The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has issued the standard operating procedure (SOPs) for restarting Metro services under the Unlock 4 guidelines.
Based on the guidelines issued by the Centre under Unlock 4.0, the metro corporations of Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur), Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOP, the ministry said. The SOP was finalised based on discussions with the managing directors of 15 Metro rail corporations on Tuesday (Sep 2).
Metro trains will resume services in a graded manner and metros having more than one line will open different lines starting from September 7 onwards in a staggered manner with all corridors becoming operational by September 12.
The government of Maharashtra however has decided not to resume operation of the metro operations in Mumbai.
“Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by September 12, 2020. Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains,” the SOP stated
Under the SOP, the Metro authorities need to ensure necessary markings in stations and trains to ensure social distancing, monitoring of passengers by cameras through control rooms, and in case any station(s) violate norms, trains will not be stopped at those stations. It will be mandatory for all passengers and metro staff to wear mask all the time, and hand sanitizers will be installed at all gates of metro stations.
Under the guidelines, metro authorities must encourage use of smart cards (which don’t require contact instead of tokens) and Aarogya Setu for contact tracing
Dwelling time for each train at stations will be increased to make boarding and de-boarding smoother ensuring physical distancing.
Only asymptotic people will be let to travel, stations will also be enabled with thermal scanners, passengers are advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid any metal items, for fast and easy scanning.
Metro rail authorities will maintain close liaison with state police and local administration authorities for regulating crowds outside station and deal with contingencies, SOP added.
Bengaluru metro, or Namma metro will restrict it capacity to one-third to ensure sufficient distancing and avoid crowding in stations, while Purple line (Baiyappanahalli – Mysore Road) will resume operations on September 7, Green Line (Yelachenahalli – Nagasandra) will resume operations on September 9, until September 11 metro timings are restricted to two shifts, 8.00 am – 11.00 am and 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm, from September 11, trains will run from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm.
Namma Metro will install thermal scanners and sanitiser dispenser at gates, and will issue only e-tickets.
Delhi metro will open in three phases, in Phase-I, Yellow Line and Rapid metro will resume on September 7, Blue and Pink Line will resume on September 9, and Red, Green, and Violet Line will resume on September 10, Phase-I will serve from 7.0am to 11.0am and 4.0pm to 8.0pm, Phase-II will see Magenta and Grey Line operational on September 11 from 7.0am to 1.0 pm and 4 pm to 10 pm, and in Phase-III Airport Express line will resume operations on September 12.0 from 6.0 am to 11.0pm, said Delhi metro officials.
Delhi metro will introduce new type of smart card called “Autope”, which can be recharged online, and alternate seats will be let vacant for maintaining sufficient distance, and one meter between people while standing in train.
Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), with two lines, Blue line resuming operations on September 7, Green Line resuming operations on September 9, will operate in two shifts, from 8.30am to 10.30am and 5.0pm to 8.0pm, and inter-corridor movement between two line is stopped and passengers are asked to plan their movement accordingly.
Dwelling time is increased from 20 seconds to 50 seconds to maintain social distancing while boarding and deboarding, CMRL has also ensured contactless frisking, installed sanitiser dispensers and thermal scanners
Indian Express quoted Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited’s (HRML) Managing Director, NVS Reddy as saying that protocols will be worked out soon, enough care will be taken to follow social distancing in trains and stations. He added that increase ventilation and air conditioning of trains will also be carried out.