Delhi Metro To Resume In 3 Stages, Stations In Containment Zones To Remain Closed
Delhi Metro is set to resume services in three stages from Sept. 7-12 after a hiatus of over five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but stations in containment zones would remain closed, DMRC said on Wednesday.
Officials of the urban transporter also cautioned that "trains may not stop at some of the stations" if social distancing norms are not adhered to by the passengers.
The assertion from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation came on a day the city recorded 2,509 cases, the highest single-day spike in the last nearly 60 days.
"The Delhi Metro services will be resumed in a graded manner in three stages from Sept. 7-12 with the Yellow Line or Line 2 connecting Samyapur Badli in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon and Rapid Metro to be the first ones to be made operational on Sept. 7," the DMRC said in a statement.
Trains will operate in batches of four-hour each from 7-11 a.m. in the morning and 4-8 p.m. in the evening, it said.
Metro services in Delhi-NCR have been closed since March 22 due to the pandemic.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said Metro train services will resume in a graded manner from Sept. 7 across the country, except in Maharashtra, and passengers will have to follow preventive measures against Covid-19 such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face mask.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday had issued 'Unlock 4' guidelines, permitting metro rail operations from Sept. 7 in a graded manner.
Meanwhile, at a press conference, DMRC chief Mangu Singh said metro trains will not stop at stations where passengers are found not adhering to social distancing norms.
Sources said Singh's statement was "more like a cautionary word to ensure people follow safety and social distancing norms".
"This is a new normal and an evolving scenario, so we will anyway be assessing the situation once we resume services," a source said.
Wearing masks will be mandatory for commuters and no tokens will be issued to passengers due to high risk of virus spread through it, Delhi government on Sunday.
"There will be a system of purchasing smart cards at every station and passengers will be able to travel only with smart cards," a statement quoting Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.
On Sept. 9, Blue Line or Line-3/4 (Blue Line) connecting Dwarka Sec-21 in Delhi and Noida Electronic City/Vaishali; and Pink Line or Line 7 connecting Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar will resume operations, following the same schedule as for the Yellow Line.
On Sept. 10, Red Line or Line 1 from Rithala to Shaheed Sthal New Bus Adda; Green Line or Line 5 from Kirti Nagar/Inderlok to Brig. Hoshiar Singh (Bahadurgarh); and Violet Line or Line 6 from Kashmere Gate to Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabhgarh) will also resume services with the same timings.
In stage-2, kicking in from Sept. 11, Magenta Line or Line 8 from Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden; and Grey Line or Line 9 from Dwarka to Najafgarh will alsobe made operational. The trains in stage two will operate in batches of six-hour each from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-10 p.m., the DMRC said.
Train services resumed in stage one will from this date also follow the timing prescribed in stage two, it added.
From Sept. 12, stage three will set in, and in addition to lines made operational in stage one and stage two, Airport Express Line from New Delhi to Dwarka Sec-21 will also resume service, officials said, adding that services on all lines will be available throughout the day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Trains will not stop at stations falling in containment zones, and such stations will remain closed for thepublic, the DMRC said.
The number of containment zones in Delhi on Wednesday jumped to 894, according to the Delhi health department bulletin, according to which the total cases mounted to over 1.79 lakh and Covid-19 death toll mounted to 4,481.
Also, train services will commence with adequate frequency as they were before March 22, which may be increased or decreased as per requirement.
However, due to trains halting for longer duration at stations, there will be minor increase in time required for performing a trip, officials said.
"Once metro services resume from Sept. 7, DMRC will strive to facilitate all necessary measures and precautions in its premises to provide a safe travelling experience to its commuters amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic," Executive Director, Corporate Communications, DMRC, Anuj Dayal had said on Sunday.
The total number of entry points at Delhi Metro stations will be heavily curtailed to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety norms, officials had earlier said.
DMRC has 10 lines spanning 242 stations, and 264 stations, including the Rapid Metro in Gurgaon.