After being shut for more than five months now due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi metro is likely to resume services from September 1, say government sources. However, special guidelines from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are yet to come, added to the sources. The metro services may be allowed when the ‘Unlock 4’ phase in the graded reopening comes into force.
Considered the lifeline of the city, metro services were suspended in late March to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 31 lakh people in India.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 23 had announced that the metro services might be started on a trial basis and he anticipated a decision from the center on this. Speaking on the occasion of an interaction with businessmen, traders, and entrepreneurs in a virtual event, the CM said that the issue had been broached several times with the center already and a decision might come very soon.
“I have requested the Centre that Delhi should be treated differently. Corona’s situation is improving in Delhi. If they do not want to run Metro trains in other cities, let it be so. But, in Delhi Metro train services should be started in a phased manner on a trial basis. We have raised this issue before the Centre many times, I hope the Centre will soon decide in this regard,” he had said.
People, in general, have faced a lot of difficulties while commuting as the metro services have not yet started. Most of the restrictions of lockdown have been lifted and people have begun moving for work.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation makes 2,700 trips per day carrying 1.5 million passengers, who on average travel a distance of 17 km each.