How has the Delhi metro prepared to be ‘unlocked’?

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Delhi Metro is ready to operate following the Corona virus guidelines and is awaiting permission from the centre to start services. During this period, facilities such as signs on seats and platforms, auto-top-up of smart cards will also be provided to passengers to follow social distancing guidelines. Delhi Metro services have been suspended since March 22, the day the public curfew was imposed in view of the Corona virus. According to sources, it has incurred a loss of about Rs 1,300 crore so far.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had said on Sunday that it would be ready to resume operations on the government’s directive. On the same day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that metro train services in Delhi should be resumed experimentally as the condition of covid-19 in the city was improving. He had expressed hope that the Centre would provide a final decision on it soon.

The economy has been gradually opening in a phased manner since June after the lockdown period. But DMRC is yet to get permission from the centre to start operations. In a statement quoting Executive Director, DMRC Anuj Dayal, it was said that DMRC would be ready to start operations on the government’s directive. On average, over 26 lakh people travel on the Delhi Metro on normal days.

Meanwhile DMRC is training its staff regarding compliance with the Corona virus safety norms and is also stressing on ways to make travel safer for passengers. Officials said that Delhi Metro is preparing to manage the passengers according to the safety guidelines, along with putting social distance stickers on the seats and platforms to measure the temperature of passengers.

Officials are working on guidelines to ensure that social security norms are in force whenever passengers arrive. To boost e-transactions, Delhi Metro on August 19 announced a new facility under which passengers can auto-top their smart cards at the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gate.

Officials said that this new smart card is available to customers through the ‘Autop’ app which has been developed specifically for this purpose. Officials said that old smartcards can also be upgraded to take advantage of this facility.

The metro in Delhi is a necessity for many travelling to and from work, and using autos and cabs on a regular basis can become very expensive. But at the same time, the number of people who travel in the Delhi metro on a daily basis is very high which could become a matter of concern.

The final decision of the centre will shed more light on the issue.

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