Delhi Metro resumes services after nearly 3 weeks

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Services reopen with 50% seating capacity and no provision for standing travel for commuters.

The Delhi Metro resumed services on Monday after a hiatus of nearly three weeks in view of the improved COVID situation in the national capital, but with 50% seating capacity and no provision for standing travel for commuters, officials said.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) services were fully suspended since May 20 in view of the COVID-induced lockdown, which was first imposed on April 19 and then successively extended by the city government.

Metro services initially ran partially, catering only to people from essential services, but from May 10, it was suspended in view of rising cases amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, trains begun plying, with the scheduled starting time for services being 6 a.m.

“Only half of the available trains will be inducted into service with a frequency ranging from nearly five to 15 minutes on different lines,” a DMRC official had said on Sunday.

The move comes in the wake of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing various relaxations on Saturday, allowing metro trains to operate with half capacity and shops in markets and malls to reopen on odd-even basis from June 7.

He asserted that the city’s economy needs to be revived in view of improving COVID-19 situation.

Delhi recorded 381 fresh cases of COVID, the lowest in over two and a half months and 34 fatalities, while the positivity rate dipped to 0.5%, according to data shared by the health department here on Sunday.

“The number of trains will be inducted in full strength in a graded manner by Wednesday and thereafter, services will be available as per normal frequency which was available before the lockdown,” the DMRC had earlier said.

Passengers will be allowed to travel by seating only on alternate seats with no provision for standing travel till further directions, officials said.

In view of this stipulation, the capacity utilisation of the system will be around 10-15% of its total capacity available in normal days, the DMRC had said.

The general public is advised to cooperate with the metro authorities in ensuring compliance to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour inside metro premises throughout their travel, officials said.

“In order to ensure social distancing and compliance to 50% seating inside trains, public is also advised to take extra time for their daily commute and exhibit COVID appropriate behaviour outside the stations also while waiting for their turn to enter the station,” the DMRC had said in a statement after the chief minister had announced relaxations in lockdown norms.

Entry at stations will continue to be regulated through identified gates as was the practice earlier.

The DMRC has 10 lines spanning 242 stations, and 264 stations including the Rapid Metro in Gurgaon.


This article was originally published on The Hindu