Image Courtesy – India.com
The Delhi Metro has been closed for the last several months due to the Corona crisis. It was last operated on March 23, 2020, only for six hours just after the day on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nation-wide ‘Janta Curfew’.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has been suffering a huge loss due to stop in service. In such a situation, the metro can start in the next two weeks in the country’s capital. Hardeep Singh Puri, the Union Housing and Urban Development Minister says that a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ has been prepared for this.
The decision to resume metro services in the city will be taken in two weeks. The Union minister told The Economic Times, “We will make a decision on starting the metro service in two weeks. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is ready. We are ready to start it, but it will be started in a phased manner. Initially, more than 50% of people will not be allowed to travel. Government employees, healthcare workers and people connected with other essential services will be allowed to travel“.
The ministry has insisted on reopening the transport system as the metro authorities are suffering heavy losses. The roads are getting jammed without the metro service. Puri told that metro operators are regularly checking their systems and they are ready to start the service.
An official of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation told that people would have to take precautions like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, installing ‘Aarogya Setu’ app in their mobile phones etc. The official also told that halts at the stations would be longer than before to provide people enough time to board the trains.
The official told that crowd at the Metro stations would be checked before entry. Nobody would be allowed to enter inside if the number of people inside the station already fulfilled the estimated capacity. Thermal screening for all the passengers would be there. If anybody found having a flu-like symptom, would be prohibited from entering. Stickers have already been pasted on the stations and inside the metro coaches to remind people to maintain social distancing.
The central government is considering opening the metro services all over the country and not in one metropolis or city. Now, they are waiting for the next phase of unlocking guidelines coming in this month. Delhi Metro is suffering a loss of about Rs 300 crore every month on account of lockdown. According to media reports, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation incurred a loss of more than Rs 1350 crore so far.