Accessing the current Covid-19 situation in the national capital, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday (Sunday, 23rd August 2020) hinted at the possibility of re-opening Delhi Metro services for residents soon.
In a press briefing, Kejriwal said, “We have requested Centre to allow re-opening of Delhi Metro in a phased manner, on a trial basis, as Covid-19 situation in Delhi is under control now. I hope the Centre will take a decision soon.”
The Delhi chief minister also lauded the efforts of the residents in bringing the Covid-19 situation in the national capital under control. “The way Delhi has been dealing with COVID-19 situation is being discussed in the country as well as across the world,” Kejriwal added.
“We imposed lockdown in Delhi only once, and then gradually resumed work across fields from June 1 onwards. Probably, Delhi is the only city where lockdown hasn’t been imposed again, as we understand work and COVID management can go hand-in-hand,” he further said in the press briefing.
On 20 August, MD-DMRC Dr Mangu Singh inspected the Rajiv Chowk metro station. The routine inspection was part of checking the effective functioning of various operational systems and maintenance activities, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation tweeted earlier.
The inspection comes amid expectations of resumption in train services with proper safety protocols. However, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials described it as a “routine inspection”.
According to sources, the Delhi Metro has suffered loss of nearly ₹1,300 crore since the closure of services late March due to COVID-19 situation.
The Delhi Metro services have been closed since 22 March when the ‘Janta Curfew’ was imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and subsequently the nationwide lockdown.
While the economy has slowly opened up in phase-wise manner in the unlock period since June, the DMRC has not received a nod from the Centre to resume operations.
Meanwhile, from thermal scanners to test temperature of commuters to stickers on social distancing norms pasted on seats and platform floors, the Delhi Metro has been preparing to handle commuters as per safety guidelines, whenever the services are ordered to be resumed.
On regular days, the average daily ridership of the DMRC is over 26 lakh.