It’s been a month since Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) has commenced operations after a gap of five and a half months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and passengers gingerly stepping into the three-coach trains has reached about 80,000 in all the three corridors.
“We have been expecting passengers’ count to rise gradually and the numbers are as per our expectation. By and large, citizens have been disciplined in adhering to the safety protocols of mandatory face masks, physical distancing and personal hygiene at the stations and inside the trains too,” said managing director N.V.S. Reddy.
Corridor One or the Red Line – L.B. Nagar to Miyapur has about 48,000 passengers daily, the second corridor or the Green Line – Jubilee Bus Station to MGBS (Imlibun) is seeing about 4,000 passengers and the third corridor of Blue Line – Nagole to Raidurg is carrying about 28,000 passengers. Everyday, 51 trains are making about 750 trips with frequency between five and seven minutes depending on the rush from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The MD stated that save for a few groups of youngsters seen removing their face masks and congregating inside the trains, it has been a relatively smooth affair. “Our staff have been politely telling such passengers to keep the masks on. So far, we have not taken any action because it is clear most citizens are conscious of potential virus spread of the raging pandemic and are following the safety protocols diligently,” maintained Mr. Reddy.
Metro Rail authorities started commercial operations with a new set of rules of thermal screening of passengers at entry level, hand sanitation stands, making face masks compulsory and social distancing marking done inside stations and trains – standing and seating too. Before the lockdown HMR was carrying close to five lakh passengers a day with most passengers travelling towards the IT/ITES corridors on the Blue Line towards Hi-Tec City and Raidurg.
“Till the IT/ITES employees start travelling to their respective offices, we are not expecting a surge in passenger travel. In any case, we are having the second highest passenger count in Metro rail travel across the country with Delhi Metro carrying seven lakh passengers a day as against the pre-lockdown of 26 lakh. However, we are not yet witnessing rush during the peak hours as is being witnessed in the national capital where passengers are being urged to stagger their travel timing,” explained the MD.