114 commuters penalised for violating norms as DMRC resumes full services
The Delhi Metro resumed its full services on Saturday, with the Airport Express Line re-opening after a hiatus of over 170 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over 1.5 lakh people had availed metro services across the various corridors till 7:30 PM. Of these, 2,268 people used the Airport Line, a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official said.
All corridors of the DMRC network are now operational and the services will follow the pre-coronavirus time schedule -- 6 AM to 11 PM.
“With the resumption of service on the Airport Express Line, all lines of the Delhi Metro network are now open! Remember to follow the guidelines when travelling. #MetroBackOnTrack,” the DMRC said in a tweet earlier in the day.
The DMRC said around 200 passengers were counselled for not wearing face masks properly.
In addition, 114 passengers were fined Rs 200 each for violation of social distancing norms or not wearing masks or face covers inside trains, it said in a statement.
Many commuters said they felt safe travelling in the metro.
Shahjahan Khan (29), who works with a private firm in Seelampur, said, “I believe it’s safer to travel in metro with necessary measures in place and more than anything else, it saves time and money,” he said.
Before the resumption of the metro services, he used to travel to work in a cab or an autorickshaw, he said.
Sangeeta Verma (45), a homemaker, who had to step out due to a family emergency said, “Many of my relatives who have travelled in the metro said it was safe as all safety measures have been taken by the authorities. So I thought why not give it a try.” “How long can we wait for the situation to normalise? We need to step out, if not today then tomorrow,” said Verma, a resident of Dwarka as she exited the Rajiv Chowk metro station.
Metro services in Delhi and the National Capital Region were closed on March 22 to check the spread of coronavirus.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had recently issued guidelines allowing the Delhi Metro to resume operations in a graded manner, following which the DMRC had said it would be done in three stages from September 7-12.
The Delhi Metro resumed services on Monday with curtailed operation of the Yellow Line and Rapid Metro. Stage two kicked in on Friday with Magenta and Grey lines also opening their doors to commuters and service hours being extended.
Stage three came into effect from Saturday onwards with metro services going back to the pre-COVID-19 time schedule.
Now that services have resumed on all lines, the DMRC will be henceforth be making public only the “line utilisation” figures as was done before the lockdown. These figures reflect the actual utilisation of the metro system spread over 400 km with 28 interchange stations.
On Sunday, the DMRC will start its services two hours early than the normal timing of 8 AM to facilitate students appearing for NEET examination on September 13.
“This Sunday, 13th September, Metro operations will start at 6:00 AM on all sections. Starting next Sunday, 20th September, regular timings as per earlier time table with services starting at 8:00 AM on Phase 3 sections (on Sundays) will continue. #MetroBackOnTrack,” the DMRC said in a tweet.