Bengaluru, Sep 5 (IANS) The state-run Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) geared up to resume its service in phases from Monday under the new guidelines to contain the pandemic, an official said on Saturday.
“Special arrangements are made as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the safety of commuters and our staff,” a metro official told IANS here.
As the service is being resumed after 5 months when it was suspended on March 25 for the first time due to the lockdown to contain the pandemic, the 6-coach trains will operate during peak hours from 8-11 am and 4:30-7:30pm on the east-west route (purple line).
“In the second phase from September 9, the service will also resume on the north-south route (green line) for 3 hours at the same timings,” said the official.
In the third phase from September 11, the service will operate on both the lines for 14 hours from 7am to 9pm daily.
As the most popular transport mode for its punctual, efficient and cleaner service in air-conditioned coaches, the metro has been ferrying over 4-lakh commuters on the twin routes, covering 42.3km across 40 well-lit stations till pre-Covid days.
Every commuter will be screened at the entrance to ensure only those who are free from Covid symptoms will be allowed into the metro station, with face mask or facial shield.
“Sanitisers have been kept at the entrance of all the stations for hand-washing,” said the official.
Spaces have been earmarked on platforms and inside coaches to maintain social distancing between commuters to sit or stand while travelling.
“Though the 6-coach train has capacity to carry 1,800 commuters, only 400 will be allowed in each ride till further order,” said the official.
Similarly, about 50 commuters will be allowed on the platform for the next train at a time to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing.
Senior citizens and children below 10 years are advised to avoid travel by metro for their safe health and till further notice.
“The trains will run at a frequency of 5 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during non-peak hours from September 11, noted the official.
As tokens are not be used to avoid contact with surface till further order, the operator has updated its application (app) aNamma Metro’ for contactless entry and exit at all the 40 stations with smart card, which can be re-charged digitally.
“Commuters can recharge their metro card through the app or from the point of sale machines at the stations. The machines give a printout with a QR code for scanning to top it up to travel,” noted the official.
One entry-cum-exit gate and an additional exit gate will kept open at the stations to regulate movement of commuters to ensure social distancing.