NEW DELHI: The coronavirus pandemic had brought India to a complete standstill since February this year. However, as part of Government of India’s ‘Unlockdown’ to revive the economy, metro services resumed today in various cities across India after a gap of nearly five months. These cities are Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), said that passengers will have to strictly follow COVID-19 preventive measures like social distancing and wearing masks at all times.
The Delhi Metro today resumed services after being closed for over five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The services resumed at 07:00 AM with strict safety and social distancing measures in place. The first trains started operating on the Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro from Samaypur Badli to HUDA City Centre station. According to a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official, no stations on the Yellow Line remained closed as they were not close to any containment zones. Passengers were only allowed to enter the station premises after temperature checks using thermal guns and sanitisation of hands. Hundreds of Delhi Metro ground staff and Central Industrial Society Force personnel were deployed and worse face shields, masks and gloves as preventive measures. Trains will operate between 07:00 AM and 11:00 AM & 04:00 PM and 08:00 PM in the first stage of reopening.
In Chennai, the metro service resumes as part of the state’s Unlock 4. MC Sampath, Minister of Industries, Government of Tamil Nadu, inaugurated the service at 07:00 AM by travelling in the train on the ‘Airport to Washermanpet’ route.
In Hyderabad, commercial services of the Hyderabad Metro Rail began on the ‘Miyapur to LB Nagar’ route. Officials said that trains will operate at an interval of five minutes. The services will be available between 07:00 AM and 12 noon and between 04:00 PM and 09:00 PM. Metro stations which are located near containment zones will remained shut. The services in the two other corridors will begin from tomorrow and day after.
In Kochi, metro services resumed after 168 days of lockdown. Security officials are scanning all passengers using infrared thermometers. In addition to this, foot pedal operated sanitisers are placed at all stations. Social distancing between passengers will be monitored at all times during their journey using CCTVs.