Delhi Metro resumes services after six months with a huge list of guidelines. Here’s how the new normal will look like for daily commuters from now on. By Tanvi Jain

The national capital today welcomed metro services¬†once again¬†for the first time since its suspension in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.¬†‚ÄúFrom 7th September onwards, graded metro services will begin on the yellow line (Samaypur¬†Badli¬†– Huda City Centre) and Rapid Metro Gurugram from 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning and 4:00 to 8:00 in the evening. #MetroBackOnTrack,‚ÄĚ the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) tweeted.¬†

However, the resumption comes with a strict set of guidelines to¬†avoid the spread of the virus. ‚ÄúMinistry of Housing & Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra says, passengers will have to follow preventive measures against #COVID19 by maintaining social distancing and wearing a face mask,‚ÄĚ All India Radio (AIR) mentioned in a tweet.¬†

Some key highlights of the new rules and regulations as mentioned in a DMRC press release include:

  1. Entry and exit of passengers only via one or two identified gates.
  2. Wearing of mask/cover and use of Aarogya Setu app at all times.
  3. Thermal screening and hand sanitisation at all entry/frisking points, to be facilitated by the DMRC/security personnel.
  4. No entry for passengers with high temperature or any COVID-19 related symptoms. 
  5. Provision of signages both at the platform as well as inside the metro to help passengers maintain social distancing. 
  6. Lift to be used by not more than two to three people at a time. 
  7. Regular announcement and an audio-visual display of do’s and don’ts to curb the spread of Coronavirus. 
  8. A team of 800 officials and staff to be deployed at all stations to ensure cleanliness, proper order and social distancing, and also to monitor crowd management via CCTV. 
  9. Trained Customer Facilitation Agents to help specially-abled commuters, and ensure proper distancing and sanitisation. 
  10. Passengers to sit on alternate seats inside the metro, leaving the ones with a sticker on them, vacant. 
  11. Stoppage time to be increased by 10 seconds for every metro, and by 20 seconds for the ones stopping at interchange stations, so as to give people more time to safely board and deboard without rushing. 
  12. Thorough sanitisation of metros both at terminals as well as at depots. 
  13. No more tokens, only smart-card holders, and QR code users to be allowed to travel, in order to facilitate touchless recharge and digital payment. 
  14. Regular cleaning of metro stations especially at passenger movement areas and touchpoints. 

Moreover, the authorities have urged the public to take 10-15 minutes of extra time to commute, carry only pocket-sized sanitisers, with a quantity not exceeding 30 ml, travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items. Furthermore, while parking facilities have been made operational, Feeder bus services continue to remain suspended. Similarly, shops and outlets inside metro stations have also been allowed to operate with proper distancing and safety norms. 

Meanwhile, metro services in cities like Lucknow, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kochi, have also resumed operations with all the required SOPs in place. 

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