Metro Railway services in Kolkata will resume on September 14 after remaining suspended for more than five months, its General Manager Manoj Joshi announced on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, Joshi said Metro Railway will run 110 services on the Noapara-Kavi Subhash line every day,except Sundays when operations will remain shut for sanitisation of rakes and stations.
“Between Noapara and Kavi Subhash, 55 trains will run in each direction starting from 8 am. The last train will leave the terminal stations on both ends at 7 pm,” he said. Operations will also recommence on the East-West line from September 14 between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium stations with 36 services in each direction.
The first train will leave at 8 am and the last train of the day will depart the terminal stations at both ends at 7.40 pm. The services will be available between Monday and Saturday, he said. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal urged passengers to follow the dos and don’ts to ensure safe travel.
“Kolkata Metro back on track: To ensure safe Metro travel, follow all the Dos and Don’ts. This is for your own safety,” Goyal tweeted, asking people to travel responsibly and sensibly. Joshi said that trains will run on the Noapara-Kavi Subhash line at an interval of 10 minutes during peak hours and will have stoppages of 30 seconds at each station instead of the previous 20 seconds, in order to avoid the rush for boarding or deboarding.
Metro services on both the lines have remained suspended since March 23 when the nationwide lockdown was announced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bookings for e-passes will commence from Sunday and a passenger can book both onward and return journeys, Joshi said.
The e-passes can be booked from the ‘Pathadisha’mobile app. Entry to the metro stations will only be allowed on showing the e-passes. Only smart cards will be allowed for travelling on the metro, an official said.
The Metro Railway has decided to allow a maximum 400 passengers at a time in its trains to avoid crowding and to maintain COVID-related norms. Asked about the possible revenue loss owing to the reduced number of passengers and also services, Joshi said that the safety of the people is of foremost importance.
He said that in case of requirement, the Metro authorities will request the Railway Ministry for requisite funds. The Metro authorities have announced special services for NEET examinees and their guardians on September 13 between 10 am and 7 pm at intervals of 15 minutes.
The Metro Railway has issued a set of dos and don’ts for passengers. The passengers will have to wear masks covering face and nose, and will have to sanitise their hands from sanitiser dispensers placed at each platform before boarding a train,according to a Metro official.
Passengers will have to get their body temperature checked through thermal screening at the time of entry to a metro station and will have to use specified gates for entry and exit, the official said. The Metro authorities said that passengers having fever, cough or cold should not undertake a journey in it strains.
It said that elders and children should also not travel on the metro.