Citizens who were hoping to see Namma Metro running again will have to wait a while longer. In the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday, the resumption of metro services is slated for Phase-III with no indicative date on when the trains will start running.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials, who are waiting for a green signal from the government, said they have put in place safety guidelines. But even when services do finally resume, travelling on the Namma Metro will be a different experience.
“We have to maintain social distancing at every stage. Sanitisers will be placed at entry points, and passengers have to use them before entering the station. Social distancing has to be maintained at entry points, escalators, platforms, and other areas. We cannot allow people to overcrowd at platforms,” the official said.
The number of passengers per coach may also be reduced. On normal days a six-car train can carry more than 1,700 passengers. Sources said that BMRCL may allow only those with smart cards to travel and do away with issuing tokens.
In the initial days of the lockdown imposed by the State government, the BMRCL had taken various measures while operating the trains, which included sanitization of trains after they reached the depot, disinfecting high-touch areas inside the train, escalators and platforms. At the time, the BMRCL had also restricted the train operations timings.
Public transport systems incurred huge revenue losses during the lockdown. While bus services have resumed to an extent, BMRCL has had no revenue. An official estimated that the metro rail corporation has lost on an average ₹50 to ₹60 crore in revenue due to COVID-19.