Hyderabad, Sep 6 (IANS) After more than five months, the Hyderabad Metro Rail is set to resume its operations in a phased manner from Monday, putting in place all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
These include checking of body temperatures of visitors/passengers, sanitisation and social distancing through markings at stations and alternate seating arrangements in trains.
No person showing COVID-like symptoms will be allowed to enter the Metro stations or board trains. It will be mandatory for all passengers to wear face masks.
On Monday, Metro services will resume only on Miyapur to LB Nagar corridor. Trains will be operated from 7 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Nagole to Raidurg stretch will be made operational from Tuesday with the same timings.
From September 9, Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) to the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) corridor will also re-open, with services available from 7 am to 9 pm.
Frequency of trains will be around five minutes. It will be improved or decreased based on passenger traffic and to avoid crowding, said Reddy.
Gandhi Hospital, Bharat Nagar, Moosapet, Musheerabad and Yusufguda, the five stations which fall in containment zones, will remain closed.
Security personnel deployed at the entry points to the Metro stations will check the body temperatures of all entrants with hand-held thermal guns. In case a visitor has high temperature or shows any other medical symptom, he will be taken to the isolation room at the station and provided medical assistance, said Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) officials.
HMRL Managing Director NVS Reddy appealed to the people with COVID-like symptoms like fever, cold, and cough to avoid travel on the Metro.
Authorities have also made elaborate arrangements for sanitisation, putting pedal-operated sanitiser dispensers at entry points. Sanitisation points have also been created for luggage before it passes through the x-ray machines.
The HMRL officials also appealed to prospective passengers to carry minimum luggage and not carry metal objects to make the frisking process hassle-free.
Passengers have also been advised to carry sanitiser bottles/dispensers with them. Those entering the stations will also be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app.
Coins will not be accepted for sale of tickets. The authorities will encourage use of smart cards and mobile QR tickets with cashless/online transactions.
Reddy said that social distancing would be monitored through CCTVs, station controllers, and train operators.
Waiting time for trains at the Metro stations has been increased from 20 seconds to 30 seconds to ensure passengers don’t come in contact while boarding or de-boarding.
Following the Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued by the Centre and the permission accorded by the state government, the HMRL decided to resume services in a phased manner.
The Hyderabad Metro suspended its commercial operations from March 22. It was operating 55 trains that ferried about 4.5 lakh passengers every day before the lockdown.
The 73-km elevated Metro is the biggest such project in the world in public private partnership (PPP) model built at a total cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
L&T MRHL, the private partner in the project, is estimated to have suffered Rs 300 crore loss during the last five-and-a-half months.
In February, with the launch of the 11-km stretch from JBS to MGBS, the Hyderabad Metro Rail become the second largest metro rail network in the country after Delhi, covering a distance of 69.2 km.
Barring the 3.78 km stretch from MGBS to Falaknuma, the famous palace in the old city, the entire project has been completed.