Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday giving detailed suggestions on the relaxations in the lockdown for the national capital as it deals with coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
Demanding a complete ban on all activities in the containment zones, the Delhi government asked the Centre to allow public transport with social distancing in the national capital during fourth phase of the national lockdown after May 17.
In the letter, CM Kejriwal suggested that private offices should be allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity, market complexes should open on odd-even basis and partial public transport services should resume in Delhi.
Only central and Delhi government employees and people engaged in essential services will be permitted to use the metro service, Kejriwal said in his suggestions to the Centre. The Delhi government recommended that religious places, gyms and cinema halls remain closed during the fourth phase of the lockdown.
Discussed SOPs for safe opening of Delhi metro & buses with officials of @TransportDelhi, @OfficialDMRC, @dtchq_delhi, @DimtsLtd @DDC_Delhi & experts from @WRIIndia. If central govt. allows, Delhi is confident of running public TPT under the leadership of @ArvindKejriwal 1/2 pic.twitter.com/lptOa4s4yP— Kailash Gahlot (@kgahlot) May 15, 2020
Kejriwal also said though the number of coronavirus cases will increase due to relaxations in the lockdown, the Delhi government has made sufficient arrangements of hospitals, intensive care units, ambulances and ventilators. The he proposed that movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, should remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm to 5 am.
The Chief Minister suggested that all shopping malls should open with the condition that only 33 per cent shops would open on a single day and the management of the mall would be responsible to enforce this stipulation. He also suggested in the letter to PM that partial public transport should be resumed with certain conditions.
Kejriwal recommended that autorickshaws/e-rickshaws/cycle-rickshaws should be permitted with the stipulation that they shall carry only one passenger. Taxi/Cabs (including cab aggregators) should be permitted with the condition that apart from the driver, only two passengers are allowed, the letter said.
According to the CM, construction activities should be permitted wherever the workers are available on-site or could be transported to the site from within the NCT of Delhi except containment zones. He said that buses should be permitted with the condition that not more than 20 passengers shall be allowed at one time. Further, it should be mandatory to have two marshals inside each bus at all times for maintaining social distancing.
On starting metro services, a standard operating procedure (SOP) for safe operation of metro trains and buses was discussed in a meeting attended by Gahlot and top officers of the transport department and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Gahlot said the decision to resume Delhi Metro services will be taken by the central government.
Social distancing, contactless ticketing and disinfection will be the three pillars of our strategy to run public transport safely. And all of this will be possible only if people of Delhi cooperate. Delhi will be back on its feet only if people and the govt work together 2/2 https://t.co/fEB9sMTA1H— Kailash Gahlot (@kgahlot) May 15, 2020
Whenever the metro services are ordered to be resumed, there will be thermal scanners to test temperature of commuters, sanitisers and stickers on social distancing norms pasted on seats and platform floors, according to the letter.
Gahlot said weekly passes and use of electronic ticketing machines to minimise contact, alternate seating arrangements to maintain social distancing and thermal screening devices will be ensured in DTC and cluster buses.
He said the number of passengers on a bus will be kept to around 20 to ensure proper social distancing. Also, civil defence volunteers, marshals and enforcement personnel will be deployed at bus queue shelters to implement social distancing, the minister added.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday held a meeting with the Delhi Disaster Management Authority to discuss the suggestions received on the lifting of coronavirus lockdown after May 17.
The Prime Minister had sought suggestions from chief ministers on relaxations they want in the fourth phase of lockdown after May 17 when the third phase will end. The nationwide lockdowns have been enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus. In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister had said that lockdown 4.0 will be different.