Covid: Delhi Metro struggles to curb passenger numbers

Amid yellow alert, Delhi Metro struggles to curb passenger numbers

Long queues were seen outside of different metro stations across the city

Passengers outside HUDA City Centre metro station. Credit: PTI Photo

Even two days after a yellow alert was declared in the capital, Delhi Metro is yet to implement the restrictions imposed by the Delhi government in the wake of the rising Covid-19 cases, as more than 50 per cent passengers continue to board the public transport with several still travelling standing.

"Most of the people still do not know about the curbs and continue to board the metro. The situation will get under control within two-three days," a DMRC official told IANS.

Passengers IANS talked with cited office attendance as one of the reasons, while others said with Delhi Transport Corporation buses too running with just 50 per cent passengers, "we have no other option left".

Meanwhile, a few passengers said that they are taking all the possible precautions while commuting and going about their work and socialising before the New Year kicks in.

The Delhi government on December 28 announced restrictions under yellow alert under which Delhi Metro is supposed to run with only 50 per cent seating capacity and passengers are not allowed to travel standing up.

This decision was taken after the city's Covid-19 positivity rate continued to be above 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days.

However, long queues were seen outside of different metro stations across the city as people continued to go about their daily lives as usual.

To curb this, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Thursday announced to have reduced capacity down to 200 per train from the usual 2,400.

An eight-coach Metro train can generally carry about 2,400 passengers, which comprises approximately 50 seating passengers and 250 standing passengers per coach.

With present restrictions of 50 per cent seating and no standing, each coach can now accommodate only about 25 passengers, the DMRC said in a release.

"Therefore, an eight coach train can now accommodate approximately 200 passengers only."

As this is less than 10 per cent of a train's normal carrying capacity, it advised: "Therefore, travel only if absolutely essential. Also keep extra time in your commute by the Metro as entry has to be regulated to ensure compliance with the guidelines which is resulting in the queue's outside stations."

On Wednesday, the DMRC deployed 15 flying squads across the metro network to ensure that the Covid-19 safety protocol is strictly adhered by the passengers inside trains and premises. Besides, the frequency of checking drives was also increased to ensure strict adherence to the guidelines and offenders were penalised on the spot.

"Announcements according to the new guidelines were also being made inside trains and station premises on a frequent basis and passengers are being advised to plan their journey in advance, allowing for some additional time for their commute," the DMRC said.

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