Metro Rail Services resume amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
Published: September 3, 2020
The Centre released the Standard Operating Procedures for the resumption of metro rail services during the corona virus outbreak. All states with metro connectivity, except Maharashtra, are set to begin operations from September 7 in a graded manner. They further aim to make all lines operational by September 12. However, metro stations in containment zones will continue to remain closed.
Under the Centre’s guidelines, masks will be mandatory for everyone. Only asymptomatic commuters would be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry points of the station. Those who are found to be symptomatic would be advised to go to nearby Covid-19 Care centres or hospitals for testing and necessary medical attention.
- Fearing crowd infections, commuters prefer travelling in private modes like two-wheelers. So, measures are needed to gain the public’s confidence in mass transport modes, to avoid a significant modal shift to road traffic.
- AC is having high risk in indoor areas with focused air flow
- Hand and contact with common surfaces must be considered, as it is well-known to cause significant COVID-19 spread.
How to face challenges?
- Staffs can be employed to wipe the handgrips at frequent intervals, constantly moving from end to end in the train.
- Wet sanitising wipes can be provided to every traveller entering a metro rail coach with a suggestion to have it in their palms before touching or gripping anything.
- Contact-less wash basins can be offered with soap dispensers at the platform level could be effective.
- The doors of the empty coach can be opened during a run for two or three minutes
Fearing crowd infections, commuters are preferring travelling in private modes. So, actions are needed from both authorities and the public to keep our public transport systems safe. If no such actions are taken and a serious level of viral transmission is later traced to public transit.