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Delhi Metro staff gear up to resume services once nod comes

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NEW DELHI: As the fourth phase of the lockdown nears completion, the Delhi Metro is all geared up to resume services in compliance with the safety norms once the order comes from authorities. Sources on Tuesday said ground staff and others of different teams were briefed by their respective team leaders on preparedness and precautions to be taken by them whenever the services are resumed.

The Delhi Metro has been closed since March 22 when the Janata Curfew was imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequently the nationwide lockdown.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) senior staff have already been coming to office since the lockdown norms were eased a week back.

Also, metro staff, from train operators to sanitation workers, have been sensitised about the safety norms.

From thermal scanners to test temperature of commuters to stickers on social distancing norms pasted on seats and platform floors, the Delhi Metro has been preparing to handle commuters as per the safety guidelines, anticipating resumption in services.

The preparations have to be done in advance as once the government order comes the system has to be ready.

Domestic flight services resumed operations from Monday while the lockdown is in place till May 31.

The sources said arrangements are being made to install a hand sanitiser dispenser near the security doors just before the frisking areas inside metro station premises.

On regular days, the average daily ridership of the DMRC is over 26 lakh. One train coach has a capacity to accommodate about 300 passengers.

With social distancing norms, this number will reduce drastically.

Delhi Metro authorities have been working on protocols in the past few weeks to ensure social distancing norms are in place whenever the commuters return.

Stickers on social distancing norms have been pasted at regular intervals on seats inside train coaches.

Red lines have been drawn at regular intervals next to AFC gates and security checking gates, just before commuters enter near the platform areas.

On platform floors, large stickers bearing ‘Ensure Social Distancing’ message have been pasted at regular intervals with a white circle bordered by an outer red circle to alert commuters.

While there are no clear indications as to when the services might be resumed, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had recently said.

The Delhi government is ready to resume the public transport services in the city with safety precautions in place for COVID-19 if the Centre allows it.

Thermal scanners will be used to screen commuters before they proceed further.

DMRC authorities, however, remain tight-lipped on whether keeping Aarogya Setu app will be mandatory for travelling in metro whenever the services are resumed.

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