Metro travel during Covid-19 pandemic: 10 things you should know

New Delhi: After five months, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will finally resume its service in the national capital from September 7. As per the Union ministry of home affairs in its guidelines for Unlock 4.0 issued on Saturday, the service will resume in a “graded manner” and standard operating procedures will be issued by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry.

Metro services in Delhi were shut on March 22.

While the decision is a big relief for commuters in the city, travelling in Metro trains is no longer going to be the same. The DMRC has prepared SOPs for Metro operations, which will be modified as per the HUA ministry’s guidelines.

Here are 10 things you should know:

1. No tokens, only smart cards: The DMRC plans to do away with the token system to bring down the infection risk. To ensure contactless and cashless travel in Metro, the DMRC recently launched a smart card with automatic top-up facility. Commuters can avail the facility by downloading Autope, a mobile application specially developed for this purpose. The card will be automatically recharged with Rs 200 at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates whenever the value goes below Rs 100. Commuters can upgrade their old mobility cards to the new one.

2. Social distancing in trains: Commuters can sit on alternate seats. DMRC has put posters to mark seats where commuters can’t sit. This has been done to ensure social distancing in trains. Standing inside trains is likely to be allowed, but commuters will have to maintain a gap of six-foot between each other.

Also read: After spike in cases, Delhi amps up Covid-19 norms enforcement

3. Social distancing at stations: DMRC has put markers on the floors of the stations and platforms indicating space where commuters can stand while waiting for the train or at the customer service counter. This has been done to ensure social distancing norms are followed.

4. Frisking and thermal checking: The moment a person will arrive at a metro station a CISF personnel will check their temperature using thermal scanners. Only those with normal temperature and face mask will be allowed entry. The passengers will be frisked just the way it used to happen earlier.

5. Precautionary measures: Wearing masks will be mandatory inside the stations and during the journey. Hand sanitisers will be placed on stations. Trains will be sanitised after regular intervals.

Also read: India’s Saturday Covid-19 count more than worst-hit US’ July 25 spike

6. Using lifts and escalators: Only three people will be allowed at one time in a lift and commuters will have to maintain a one step gap on escalators.

7.Train stoppage time: The stoppage time of trains on each station will increase to ensure social distancing between commuters while boarding/de-boarding trains. The current stoppage time is 10-20 seconds.

8. Limited entry gates to open: In order to ensure there is no crowding at the stations, DMRC has decided to limit the entry/exit points at each station. There are some stations such as Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Central Secretariat, etc .,which have more than two entry and exit points. DMRC is planning to open “a specified number of gates” to manage the crowd at stations.

9.Temperature control: It is no longer going to be cold inside the trains. The DMRC will maintain a temperature of 26 degree Celsius in the trains.

10. Fine for flouting norms: Travelling without a face mask, sitting on seats that are meant to be left vacant in order to maintain social distancing, spitting, and littering in trains or platforms, may attract hefty fines.

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