The country’s largest metro train network that runs through the Delhi and National Capital Region has advised commuters to download the Union government’s Aarogya Setu application but has not made it mandatory. Wearing of masks or face cover is, however, compulsory.
Metro services across this country will be restarted in a graded manner from September 7 to 12, 2020. Interestingly, passengers can not carry hand sanitisers beyond 30 ml quantity. The advisory includes travelling with minimum luggage and avoiding carrying metallic items.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has also advised the public to take extra time of around 10-15 minutes for their daily commute. Parking facility will remain operational. However, feeder bus service will remain suspended until further notice.
According to a DMRC statement, outlets and shops inside metro stations will be permitted to operate according to government guidelines.
All entry and exit of passengers will be initially permitted only through one or two identified gates at each station. A list of all such earmarked gate numbers at each station will be made available on the official website delhimetrorail.com and social media handles of DMRC for public information. Any change in the number of gates will also be updated, which means it is advisable that commuters check them before heading to board metros.
All passengers will be required to undergo thermal screening and hand sanitisation at the entry point itself at the time of frisking for security. Forty-five major stations have been provided with auto thermal screening-cum-hand sanitisation machines whereas, rest of the Metro stations will be having provision of ‘auto sanitiser dispensers’ for hand sanitisation and thermal screening will be done manually by ‘thermal guns’.
Passengers having temperature or sign of Covid-19 will not be allowed to travel. They will be directed to report to the nearest medical centre.
At the station, passengers will be required to follow social distancing for which stripe markers will be provided at frisking points, customer care, AFC gates etc. Similarly, signages are also placed on the platforms to ensure social distancing by passengers.
Only two to three persons at a time will be allowed to use the elevator, depending on the capacity of elevator. Similarly, passengers will be required to stand on alternate steps on escalators to maintain social distancing.
A team of around 800 officials and staff will be deployed for all stations to ensure the cleanliness and orderliness inside stations during revenue hours. In addition, they will regulate and stop the entry of passengers to the station in case of crowd build-up and violation of social distancing norms.
For crowd management, monitoring will also be done through CCTV cameras installed at stations and trains.
People with special needs will be helped by Customer Facilitation Agents to ensure proper social distancing and sanitization.
Passengers will be permitted to sit on alternate seats only in the train or stand, maintaining adequate social distancing. ‘Do not sit here’ stickers have been fixed on alternate seats to maintain social distancing inside the train.
The dwell time (stoppage) of trains at each station will be increased by 10 seconds from earlier 10-15 seconds to 20-25 seconds so that passengers get sufficient time to board and alight. At interchange stations, the dwell time of trains will be increased by 20 seconds (from earlier 35-40 seconds to 55-60 seconds).
Trains will be sanitised at terminal stations. Similarly, once they are back to depots after the end of the day, they will again be thoroughly sanitised.
Train doors will be kept open at terminal stations to let fresh air infuse the train.
Tokens will not be permitted for travelling to prevent transmission of the virus through frequent touching/handling. Only Smart Card-holders, including QR code users on Airport Express Line, will be allowed to travel, which can be recharged digitally by a number of ways avoiding human interface.
Recharge of smart cards at the Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) or Customer Care centre will be through cashless modes only (debit/credit/Bharat QR code etc). TVMs will not accept cash.
New smart cards can be purchased at the Customer Care centres or Ticket counters through cashless modes (debit/credit card/Bharat QR code) only.
For grievance redressal, passengers will be encouraged to register their feedback through digital means (email, social media, helpline etc.) only. Passenger complaint books at stations will be discontinued for the time being.
Cleanliness and hygiene
Regular cleaning of Metro stations will be done every four hours by prioritising passenger movement areas such as concourse, passages, platforms, stairs, glasswork, steelwork, etc. especially toilets.
All human contact areas e.g. lift buttons, escalator handrails, AFC gates touchpoints, customer handling points will be disinfected at stations every four hours or even earlier if required.
However, deep cleaning and disinfection of the entire station premises will be done during non-revenue hours in the night.