Delhi Metro: Thermal scanners, social distancing stickers in coaches, platform areas

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) From thermal scanners to test the temperature of commuters to stickers on social distancing norms pasted on seats and platform floors, the Delhi Metro is preparing to handle commuters as per safety guidelines, whenever the services are ordered to be resumed.

On regular days, the average daily ridership of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is over 26 lakh.

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.

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

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

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 the commuters. Sources said thermal scanners will be used to screen commuters before they proceed further.

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

'The decision to resume metro rail services in Delhi-NCR will be taken by the government after which the detailed protocol to be followed by passengers for travelling in the metro will be shared with the media and the public,' the DMRC said in a statement.

At present, the DMRC is taking up the necessary cleaning mechanisms inside the trains and indoor areas of stations such as entrance lobbies, corridors, staircases, escalators, elevators, security area etc, it said.

'Other necessary logistical arrangements such as provision for hand sanitisation, thermal screening at stations and installation of social distancing related signages are also being handled in the interim,' the statement said.

The DMRC authorities have been working on protocols for social distancing and other safety norms for passengers for using trains and station premises in the last few days.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the DMRC had indicated that it was gearing itself up and keeping its staff battle-ready to ensure adherence to all safety protocols by commuters.

It had also tweeted an image, showing caution stickers being put up on back of seats at regular intervals, on the maintenance of social distancing.

'The exercise will be extremely exhaustive as it involves cleaning and maintenance of 264 stations over 2200 coaches and over 1100 escalators and 1000 lifts etc,' it earlier said.

The coronavirus death toll in Delhi has mounted to 123, even as the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the national capital rose to 8,895 on Friday, authorities said. PTI KND AQS AQS