Aarogya Setu mandatory as metro readies to resume ops

Bengaluru: Aarogya Setu must for travellers as metro readies to resume operations

A commuter shows the Aarogya Setu app on her phone to a guard at the Deepanjali Nagar metro station on Friday. (R) A worker checks the temperature of a passenger. DH PHOTOS/M S MANJUNATH

People wishing to travel by Namma Metro must instal Aarogya Setu, the contact-tracing mobile phone app, according to the new rules framed by the BMRCL as it gets ready to resume metro operations after almost two months. 

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director Ajay Seth confirmed the new rules, laid down in a standard operating procedure (SoP), which has proposed strict measures for both metro employees as well as passengers. 

For latest updates on coronavirus, click here

The public transporter has been conducting regular drills for the workers of its operations division on enforcing the new rules. "The Aarogya Setu app will be a must for all passengers. They must also wear masks or else we'll not let them into metro stations," Seth said. 

To a question, he said passengers not having the app or without smartphones cannot be allowed to travel on metro trains. As per the SoP, security guards should check each passenger's phone to see if s/he has installed the app. No passenger will be allowed in the absence of the app. 

Fever, cough a no-no

Passengers whose temperature is above 38 degrees Celsius will also not be allowed into metro stations. Ditto for people with symptoms of sneezing, cough and breathlessness. 

Passengers can travel only with metro smart cards and no tokens will be issued at stations until further notice, the metro chief said. The aim is to reduce cash transactions and ensure social distancing to the fullest extent possible, he added. 

According to Seth, only 346 passengers or one-sixth of a train's normal capacity (1,500) will be allowed to get on board. The train operating staff will ensure this number isn't breached. "The train operator can assess the weight by looking at the dashboard screen. If the weight exceeds the limit, he knows that the train has more than 346 passengers,” he added. 

Asked whether the trains will resume on June 1, Seth said they were waiting for instructions from the Centre. "We can start operations two or three days after the Centre gives the green signal,” he said. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox