New Delhi: As the the metro services in Delhi are set to resume from September 7, there are a few operational changes that have been introduced due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. From staggered timings of air conditioners at the metro stations to the stoppage time for metro trains at platforms, a host of chanegs have been imposed.

The metro services will resume across the country and passengers will have to follow preventive measures against COVID-19 such as maintaining social distancing and wearing a face mask, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.

People traveling in the metro trains are urged to carry a pocket-sized hand sanitizer, but the amount of sanitizer should not be more than 30ml. 

Here are a list of changes to be introduced:      

1. Stoppage time at stations: Earlier, the stoppage time was 35 to 40 seconds at the interchange station) and somewhere between 10 to 15 seconds at the non-interchange station, now the time has been increased to 55 to 60 seconds at the interchange stations and 20 to 25 seconds at the non-interchange station. This will add to metro travel time which will now increase by 3 to 6 minutes.

2. Floor cleaning at stations: The floor was earlier being cleaned at the end of every metro trip and vaccum cleaner, bleach, or cleaning chemicals were used, but now the touch points inside the metro will be sanitized with a special chemical and this process will be done every time. The cleaning process will be repeated every four hours.

3. Air Conditioning and Ventilation at Underground Station: Earlier, between 7 am to 10 pm water-cooled chillers were used, atleast 90% of the air within the station was due to these chillers and the remaining 10% fresh air. Now from 4.30 am till 8.30 am it will be an open mode of ventilation; from 8.30 am to 10.30 am open mode with water cooled chillers; from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm closed mode with water cooled chillers and 10% fresh air; from 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm open mode ventilationand from 7.00 pm to 7.00 am 100% fresh air open mode ventilation.

4. Air Conditioners: Earlier, the AC filters were cleaned every 15 days and the fresh air was only 30% now the metro’s AC system has been modified to 100% fresh air when traveling in the metro and now the AC filters will be cleaned every 7 days with a sodium hypochloride solution.

Apart from this, the daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which will increase gradually with the resumption of full revenue service by September 12. The frequency of trains will be regulated to avoid crowding at stations and in trains. In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains will be done.

The following logistic arrangements have been made both inside the station and trains:

1. 750 Thermal Screening Guns (2 female at each station, separate for male)
2. 45 auto thermal screening less hand sanitizing machine (at every metro station)
3. 195 Auto Hand Sanitize Machine (at every metro station)
4.1500 manual sanitizer dispenser
5. 26 battery operated disinfect machine
6. 300 Battery Operated Disposable PPE Kit (Full Suit & Shoe Cover) – Set of 5 PPE Kit at every station
7. 1625 gloves, mask, disposable bag, face shield
8. 35000 disposable masks
9. Signs inside the metro train indicating 50,000 social distancing
10. 6000 stickers showing social distancing on the platform
11. Marks with 25000 social distancing places on passenger movement such as AFC gate, customer care, TVMs
12. As many as1500 social distancing stickers on esclator
13. Coronavirus DOs and Don’ts at 4000 metro station stickers

The elevator buttons, escalator handles, AFC gate, customer care center will be sanitized every 4 hours. At some stations, the elevators will have a special button installed which will be operable with the feet. This will be a new experimental change brought to Delhi Metro.

Listed Delhi Metro stations will have this service:

* Kashmiri Gate
* New Delhi
* Rajiv Chowk
* Central Secretariat
* Hauz Khas
* Dwarka Sector 21
* Janakpuri West
* Rajouri Garden
* Mandi House
* Yamuna Bank
* Kalkaji temple
* Dwarka
* Noida Sector 52
* IGI Airport
* Nehru enclave

Also, only asymptomatic persons to be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into the stations. Symptomatic persons should be advised to go to nearby COVID Care Centre/Hospital for testing/medical attention. The use of Aarogya Setu App has been encouraged.​ The provision of sanitizers will be made at the entrance into the stations for use by passengers.

Metro parking will also be available but the feeder bus will not run till the next order. Outlets will open inside the metro station but they will have to strictly follow all the government guidelines including social distancing. The station will be sanitised after the metro service close for the night.

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