Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has hinted towards the possibility of reopening of Delhi metro in the capital soon. “ We have requested the center to allow the reopening of metro in a phased manner, on a trial basis, as Covid situation in Delhi is under control now. I hope the centre will make a decision soon”. Said, Kejriwal, in a press briefing, on Sunday.
Delhi’s CM also said that “they have requested the centre to treat Delhi differently” as the Coronavirus situation has improved in Delhi. If Centre doesn’t intend to run metro in other cities, then let it be so, but Delhi metro service should be allowed to resume in Delhi in a phased manner.
“We have raised the issue before the Centre many times, I hope they will decide in this regard soon”, he added. Delhi metro has been shut since PM Modi, announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of novel Covid-19, in March. The Delhi metro rail services used to ferry lakhs of people daily, connecting remote areas of Delhi to Central hubs such as central Delhi and Gurgaon.
During various stages of “Unlock” in India, the central government has allowed reopening of businesses and activities in different parts of the country but the metro has remained closed. PM Modi had recently hosted a meeting with chief ministers of different states, asking suggestions on what relaxations they wanted in the lockdown imposed. Mr. Kejriwal has included the resumption of metro, in his list of demands.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has said that it is ready to resume operations. “All necessary guidelines to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus shall be implemented and all efforts shall be made to make travel safe for our valued commuters,” Said, Anuj Dayal, Executive Director of the DMRC.
Sources have indicated that Delhi metro has incurred losses of nearly Rs. 1300 crores since the lockdown due to Covid-19.
The Delhi metro has been preparing to handle passengers as per safety guidelines. Different stations have been equipped with thermal scanners to check the computer’s temperature and stickers on social distancing. Sources have indicated that Delhi metro has incurred losses of nearly Rs. 1300 crores since the lockdown due to Covid-19 but have not received a nod from the centre to resume operations.
Delhi which was a hotspot for Covid-19 cases in India in the beginning has now attained a recovery rate of 90%, which is amongst the best in the country. The news of metro opening soon has received mixed reactions from Delhiites. Many feel that it is too early to open the metro as the situation can deteriorate and Covid-19 cases are on a rise in the Country. There are others who feel that with Social distancing norms, Delhi is ready to reopen metros.