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DMRC writes to DDMA to allow standing passengers in Metro to control crowding

In their correspondence with the DDMA, DMRC said after the reopening of the Delhi Metro, post the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger intake on trains was limited to 50% of seating capacity.
DMRC stressed that while these relaxations will help Metro function more efficiently, they assured that all safety measures shall continue.(Twitter/@DMRC)
Updated on Jun 26, 2021 03:47 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has written to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) requesting that standing passengers be allowed on trains so that the capacity of trains may be increased in an effort to avoid crowding outside Metro stations.

In their correspondence with the DDMA, DMRC said after the reopening of the Delhi Metro, post the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger intake on trains was limited to 50% of seating capacity. This, the Metro said, allowed the train system to function only at 10-15% of its overall capacity, leading to crowding and long queues outside stations.

HT has reported that on Monday evening, long queues were seen outside the Rajiv Chowk, Janpath, Barakhamba, Janakpuri West and other Metro stations and commuters had to wait nearly 30 minutes to gain entry. Delhi Metro, via its social media handles, also confirmed that since reopening, and with offices, markets and other economic operations resuming, the waiting time for a Metro train has gone up to 45-50 minutes on some lines.

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“When the services resumed in September 2020, after the long lockdown, services were running as per detailed SOP (standard operating procedure) prepared based on guidelines MoHUA (Union ministry of housing and urban affairs). As per the SOP, necessary markings and signage were placed inside stations and on coaches and passengers were allowed seating on alternate seats and standing with social distancing,” the letter read.

It added, “In view of the above, in the larger public interest, it is required that Metro services may be allowed to run in accordance with the SOP approved by GoI (government of India) as of now, and relax further once the situation improves.”

DMRC also stressed that while these relaxations will help Metro function more efficiently, they assured that all other safety measures to control the spread of Covid, such as thermal scanning, hand sanitisation, wearing face masks, sanitising carry bags and articles, maintaining social distancing on station premises, both on concourse and platforms, regular disinfection of escalators, lifts, trains and handrails shall continue.

Senior DMRC officials said under the new Covid guidelines, as passengers are allowed to sit only on alternate seats, Metro is carrying about 25-30 passengers per coach, as against its pre-pandemic capacity of 300 per coach.

On Thursday, a delegation of traders also met with DMRC chief Mangu Singh to highlight how long queues outside stations was leading to crowding and traffic jams in markets.

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