Life in a metro: Centre issues SOPs, only asymptomatic persons to be allowed, masks mandatory

Life in a metro will never be the same again. Leaving alternate seats vacant, thermal screening at entry gates, mandatory wearing of masks – these are some of the measures spelt out by the Centre regarding commuting via metro when services resume on September 7 in the middle of this raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministry of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Wednesday announced detailed guidelines for metro services which are set to resume from September 7 across the country in a graded manner. MHA had earlier issued Unlock 4.0 guidelines on Saturday where clearance was given for resuming metro rail services.


  • Metros having more than one line should open different lines staring from September 7  in a graded manner so that all corridors become operational by September 12.
  • Daily hours of operations may be staggered initially, which needs to be increased gradually with resumption of full revenue service by September 12.
  • Frequency of trains to be regulated to avoid passenger crowding at stations and in trains.
  • Stations and entry-exit gates in containment zones to be closed.
  • In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings at stations and inside trains to be done.
  • Wearing of face mask to be mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro rail corporations may make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without mask.
  • 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. Use of Aarogya Setu App to be encouraged.
  • Provision of sanitisers to be made at entry into the stations for use by passengers. Sanitisation of all areas having human interface viz. equipment, train, working area, lift, escalators, handrail, AFC gate, toilets etc. needs to be done at regular intervals.
  • Use of Smart Card and cashless/online transactions to be encouraged. Tokens and paper slips/ticket to be used with proper sanitization.

Highest footfall recorded in Kolkata Metro during Durgotsav

  • Adequate dwell time at stations to be provided to enable smooth boarding/deboarding ensuring social distancing. Metro rail corporations may also resort to skipping of stations to ensure proper social distancing.
  • Passengers to be advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for easy and quick scanning.
  • Operation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system as per CPWD & Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) guidelines.
  • Intake of fresh air in air-conditioning system to be increased to the extent possible.
  • ​Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign to be launched for passenger and staff through electronic/print/social media, poster, banner, hoarding, website etc.
  • ​Metro rail corporations to keep close liaison with state police and local administration for regulating crowd outside station and to deal with contingencies.

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