The Delhi government is ready to resume public transport services in the city, with safety precautions in place for COVID-19, if the Centre allows it, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on Friday.
A standard operating procedure (SOP) for safe operation of metro trains and buses was discussed in a meeting attended by Gahlot and top officers of the Transport Department and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
"Discussed SOPs for safe opening of Delhi metro & buses with officials of @TransportDelhi, @OfficialDMRC, @dtchq_delhi, @DimtsLtd @DDC_Delhi & experts from @WRIIndia. If central govt. allows, Delhi is confident of running public TPT under the leadership of @ArvindKejriwal," Gahlot said in a tweet.
The minister said that public cooperation will be key to the successful resumption of transport services.
"Social distancing, contactless ticketing and disinfection will be the three pillars of our strategy to run public transport safely. And all of this will be possible only if people of Delhi cooperate. Delhi will be back on its feet only if people and the govt work together," he said in another tweet.
Gahlot said weekly passes and use of electronic ticketing machines to minimise contact, alternate seating arrangements to maintain social distancing and thermal screening devices will be ensured in DTC and cluster buses.
He said the number of passengers on a bus will be kept to around 20 to ensure proper social distancing. Also, civil defence volunteers, marshals and enforcement personnel will be deployed at bus queue shelters to implement social distancing, the minister added.
Gahlot said the decision to resume Delhi Metro services will be taken by the central government.
A senior officer present in the meeting said as per the Delhi Metro's standard operating procedure, main stations will be opened while some will be closed. Also, stations lying in containment zones will not be opened.
The air conditioning at Metro stations will be regulated to allow maximum circulation of fresh air, he added.
Plying of auto-rickshaws, taxis and other modes of transport will depend on the central government's guidelines after the extended lockdown due to the pandemic ends on May 17, a senior Transport Department officer said.