Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has announced the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) guidelines for metro operations in a media interaction today.
As per MHA order, No 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated August 29, 2020, metro services will resume from September 7, 2020, in a graded manner and the state government has also cleared decks from its side.
Broad features of the same are as below: –
a. Metro operations to be resumed in a graded manner. Metros having more than one line should open different lines starting from September 7, 2020, onwards in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12, 2020. Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with the resumption of full revenue service by September 12, 2020. Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains.
b. Stations entry-exit gates in containment zones to be closed.
c. In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done.
d.Wearing of face mask to be mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for the supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without a mask.
e. 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 or Hospital for testing/medical attention. Use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged.
f. Provision of sanitizers to be made an 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.
g.Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips or ticket to be used with proper sanitization.
h. Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided to enable smooth boarding and deboarding ensuring social distancing. Metro rail corporations may also resort to skipping of stations to ensure proper social distancing.
i. Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.
j. 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 the air-conditioning system to be increased to the extent possible.
k. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passenger and staff through electronic/print/social media, poster, banner, hoarding, website etc.
l. 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 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 2020. Hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro operations shall commence from October 2020 or as State Government may decide further.