After nearly two months of inactivity, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) is preparing to restart metro services in the city and is awaiting the Centre’s nod. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, during the video interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday (Monday, 11th May 2020) requested the Centre to allow resuming of metro services in areas that are not COVID-19 hotspots.
The metro services were suspended on March 20. “We have taken all possible measures to ensure the safety of commuters. State-of-the-art digital thermal cameras will help us in tracking people with COVID-19 symptoms. Even during the lockdown, we focused on cleaning and maintenance of trains and stations,” said KMRL managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma.
He said wearing masks will be mandatory on Kochi Metro premises and in stations and trains. Air conditioning ducts in trains will be cleaned before the trains are used. All public contact points like the AFC gates, ticket counters, handrails, escalators, lift buttons and platform chairs will be cleaned with disinfectants every day, he said.
Temperature of the saloon AC will be set between 24-26 degree Celsius, while the grab poles, grab handles and seats inside the trains will be cleaned with disinfectant cleaner with 70 per cent alcohol content to wipe metallic surfaces. The trains will be disinfected after every trip.
KMRL will set up digital thermal cameras at major stations and manual thermal scanners at all stations. It will encourage passengers to use hand sanitisers placed at the entrance of stations. Liquid soaps will be provided in all stations.
Anyone found having COVID-19 symptoms will be referred to the COVID Care Centres for medical attention. There will be announcements to maintain social distancing while sitting in the train, queuing up at the ticket counter and while entering and exiting the AFC gates.
KMRL will also identify the areas where passenger movement or contact within the stations are frequent and carry out cleaning of such areas more frequently. Station controllers at each station will supervise the cleaning.
Extra precautions will be taken for staff’s protection. The staff working in the stations will undergo thermal screening. The train operator will wear masks and gloves while on duty.