Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Wednesday stated that the date for the resumption of metro services has not been finalised yet but the metro network managing body said it will start undertaking cleaning and maintenance work to get ready for the resumption of services in the near future.
The Delhi metro services were suspended on March 22, even before the first phase of the nationwide lockdown was implemented from March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus disease.
“The date for the resumption of services has still not been finalized and will be notified to the public in due course. All systems of the metro including the signalling, electrical, rolling stock, tracks etc will have to be tested in detail before services are ultimately started,” said a tweet from DMRC.
The total length of metro network in Delhi is close to 400 kilometres and it caters to several lakh commuters daily. Delhi Metro authorities have trained their housekeeping and other staff to adhere to enhanced safety norms to make them ready to do their jobs whenever the services are ordered to be resumed, officials said on Tuesday, 12th May 2020.
The DMRC had implemented social distancing measures at its network stations before it finally suspended its services and undertaken sanitization exercises to disinfect its premises including trains. The measures are likely to continue even after services resume.
“DMRC is working out a detailed cleaning & maintenance procedure in view of the pandemic. The exercise will be extremely exhaustive as it involves 264 stations over 2200 coaches and over 1100 escalators and 1000 lifts. Protocol for social distancing etc. are also being worked on,” another tweet by DMRC said.
“Specially trained housekeeping staffs are deployed in stations to clean passenger movement areas and associated equipment such as AFC gates, lifts and escalators to begin safe operations,” the DMRC said in a tweet.
India is going to enter the fourth phase of lockdown after May 17 and several states are pitching for the resumption of at least interstate public transport. However, the Delhi government has not made it clear how soon the metro services will resume in the national capital.
A senior DMRC official, when contacted, said, no official order has come from authorities to resume services. “We are keeping ourselves ready though, so that operations can be resumed smoothly once the orders come,” he said.