Hardeep S Puri, MoS, (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the SOP guidelines for metro operations at a media interaction on Wednesday. As per an MHA order, metro services will resume from 7 September in a graded manner. For this purpose, SOP guidelines have been prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs which have been concurred by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Broad features of the same are as below:
- Metro operations to be resumed in graded manner. Metros having more than one line should open different lines staring from 7 September onwards in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by 12 September 2020. Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by 12 September. Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains
- Stations/ entry-exit gates in containment zones to be closed
- In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done
- Wearing of face mask to be mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without mask
- Only asymptomatic persons to be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations. Symptomatic persons should be advised to go to nearby COVID Care Centre/Hospital for testing/medical attention. Use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged
- Provision of sanitizers to be made at entry into the stations for use by passengers. Sanitization of all areas having human interface viz. equipment, train, working area, lift, escalators, handrail, AFC gate, toilets etc. needs to be done at regular intervals.
- Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/ticket to be used with proper sanitization
- Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided to enable smooth boarding/deboarding ensuring social distancing. Metro rail corporations may also resort to skipping of stations to ensure proper social distancing
- Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning
- Operation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system as per the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) & Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) guidelines. Intake of fresh air in air-conditioning system to be increased to the extent possible
- Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passenger and staff through electronic/print/social media, poster, banner, hoarding, website etc.
- Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowd outside station and to deal with contingencies
Based on the above guidelines, Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur) Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOPs.
Government of Maharashtra has decided not to resume operation of metro during September, hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro operations shall commence from October or as State Government may decide further.