Expert suggests opening all gates of metro stations, DDMA yet to take a call
During a recent meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), the director of the National Centre for Disease Control, Dr Sujit Kumar Singh suggested that all gates of Delhi Metro stations should be opened in order to reduce congestion for passengers, PTI reported. The DDMA is yet to decide on this matter as Delhi Metro continues operating at its full seating capacity with no standing travel to avoid overcrowding.
The meeting was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Dr Singh pointed out that only some gates of metro stations were opened and advised opening of all gates at the earliest as this would lead to lesser congestion.
At present, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is facilitating the entry of passengers at all stations through 276 gates. A DMRC official told PTI on Thursday that the opening of more gates would lead to more passengers entering the metro stations. “We are following the guidelines of the DDMA and some gates are closed at metro stations. The opening of more gates would lead to more people inside the station. We will follow the guidelines of the DDMA,” the official said.
In 2021, Delhi Metro services were suspended when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government imposed a complete lockdown in the national Capital on April 19 due to a massive increase in coronavirus disease cases during the more infectious second wave of the pandemic.
As the situation started improving in June, the DMRC started metro services with 50% seating capacity and no standing travel. Since July 26, trains have been running at full capacity with no standing passenger allowed.
Hindustan Times reported last week that despite the DMRC allowing full seating capacity in trains, Delhi Metro is running at just 20% of its capacity. Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy, CSE, told HT that there are apprehensions among people that travelling in close proximity with others will increase the chances of getting infected with Covid-19.
Delhi has so far recorded 1,438,373 cases, 25,084 deaths, 1412880 discharges and 409 active cases due to the viral disease. On Thursday, 28 people were detected as Covid-19 positive while 22 patients recovered. After seeing zero deaths for more than one week, one Covid-19 patient died on Thursday, the second fatality reported in September -- the earlier was on September 7.
(With PTI inputs)