Tag Archives: Delhi Metro

Delhi Metro rides in Lockdown 4.0: No beeps, no frisking at security check

With indications coming that the Delhi Metro will start in lockdown 4.0 beginning from Monday, the CISF is already equipped with providing security cover to the public transport facility premises, but this time with a new set of measures that include “no beep at DFMD, no frisking” method.

 

It will be the first time in the Delhi Metro when passengers will not have to go through physical frisking by the security personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) — whose over 12,500 personnel, including women, currently guard the Metro in round-the-clock eight-hour shifts. The CISF has been guarding the Delhi Metro since April 15, 2007.

The new method will be followed among other mandatory norms by all CISF personnel deputed near X-Ray baggage scanner machine gates from where passengers get entry inside stations.

As physical frisking will not be there, it does not mean that security is being compromised. This is to maintain social distancing between the CISF personnel and the passengers only to contain the spread of novel COVID-19 disease which till Sunday has affected 116 personnel of the paramilitary force

As a total of 29 CISF personnel deputed in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have been found COVID-19 positive till Sunday, “no physical frisking” move of the force is only to maintain distancing from passengers. It will protect both passengers as well as the on duty CISF personnel.

Explaining “No beep at DFMD (Door Frame Metal Detector), no frisking” move, a senior CISF official, requesting anonymity, told IANS that “it does not mean that security will be compromised”.

“If beep sound comes when a passenger crosses through the DFMD door, he or she will be stopped and they will be asked to take out the metal carried by them. If the DFMD door does not make a beep sound, the passenger will be allowed to proceed without frisking which used to be done earlier,” the official said.

The official, however, maintained there will be more changes in the norms soon after the new guidelines of lockdown 4.0 are announced.

Stopped since March 22, Delhi Metro’s 248 stations are guarded by the CISF and the force is also responsible for provide security to the passengers on the 345 km network in what is the safest mode of transport which used to ferry around 32 lakh people per day before the lockdown.

Among the other precautions checked by the CISF would be the Aarogya Setu app in the mobile phone of every passenger, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

The crowds at the Metro stations will also be checked by the CISF personnel and people will not be allowed to enter if there are enough people already inside the station.

If needed, the entry gates will be closed, the official said.

The official added that thermal screening of all passengers will be done and those having flu-like symptoms will be barred from entering.

A dedicated CISF team will intermittently check the seating arrangements to ensure that passengers sit on alternate seats. The force will also allow only limited people to stand inside the trains, the official said.

Hand sanitisers will be arranged at the entry and exit points of each station to avoid virus spread and the guards on direct contact duty will be wearing face masks and hand gloves.

Quick Reaction Teams of the CISF will be provided Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) kits so as to maintain security as well as provide help to passengers in need.

Though a decision has not been taken by the Centre on when Metro services will resume as the third phase of the nationwide lockdown ends on Sunday, the CISF is prepared with detailed norms when Metro rides will be given the nod.

 

Here’s how Delhi Metro services will change post lockdown?

Delhi Metro Guidelines and Rules: Once the curbs are lifted, commuters on the Delhi Metro can expect a paradigm shift in the way in which they travel.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has proposed that Metro services should be resumed in a “limited manner”.

Services of the Delhi Metro, the lifeline of the capital, were suspended on March 22, the day the Prime Minister asked the country to observe a “Janta Curfew”. The Metro was supposed to roll the following day onward in a staggered manner, but the Delhi government announced a complete lockdown and, subsequently, the nationwide lockdown came into effect on the midnight of March 24.

The lockdown is a day away from completing its third phase, and Saturday was the 55th day of no services on the country’s largest urban mass rapid transit network.

What has Kejriwal proposed?

On Friday (May 15) the Delhi government wrote to the Centre, recommending that Metro services be resumed for employees of the Union and state governments and for people involved in providing essential services.

The scope of the services may be widened after a week, the Delhi government suggested.

So, who decides when the Metro rolls again?

The final call on resumption of services lies with the Centre, which has the ultimate authority on deciding the type of activities that are permitted in Green, Orange and Red zones.

All 11 districts of the national capital are categorised as Red. A new classification could be in the works, and may be announced before the end of the current lockdown 3.0 on Sunday.

But is the Metro itself ready to roll?

Yes. According to official statements and documents, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is fully prepared to resume operations at short notice. The corporation has framed a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), in accordance with guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

How will travel change once Metro services resume?

Once the curbs are lifted, commuters on the Metro can expect a paradigm shift in the way in which they travel. Some specifics that can be expected:

* Passengers will need to have the Aarogya Setu app downloaded in their cell phones. This, however, suggests that carrying a smartphone will become a condition for travelling by the Metro. How this will be implemented practically remains to be seen.

* Only two entry gates at the most will be opened at any given time at every station. This will be done to ensure that people line up for mandatory thermal screening by CISF personnel. Those showing flu-like symptoms will be barred from entering, and health authorities will be informed to ensure further screening of these individuals.

* The Union government has also written to Metro operators across the country to try and roll out QR-code enabled ticketing linked with the Aarogya Setu app to ensure only those marked ‘safe’ by the app are issued tickets to travel. However, In the Delhi Metro, only the Airport Express line currently has entry gates equipped to scan QR-coded tickets.

* Commuters will be encouraged to use smart cards only. However, the tokens will not be completely done away with immediately.

Will something change in the trains and stations as well?

Yes, a lot. The 389-km-long network with 285 stations cannot obviously remain untouched by the ‘new normal’ that the global pandemic has brought.

Overall, expect the trains and stations to be a lot emptier than usual. You will also be expected to change your behaviour on the premises of the Metro.

For a regular Delhi metro commuter, used to constant jostling for that extra inch of space, the scenario being envisaged may sound rather unreal. Some likely examples of changes that will be seen:

* The floors of the stations will have brightly coloured markers to ensure there is a gap between commuters at all times. These markers will be everywhere — on the platforms, near the entry and exit gates, outside the ATMs and the stationery and snacks corners.

* CCTV surveillance will be carried out to check any violation of social distancing norms. If, at any point, the number of commuters inside a station rises to an extent that threatens social distancing, further entry will be restricted.

* Trains will stop for up to 30 seconds more than usual at stations to ensure social distancing among passengers boarding or alighting.

* Inside the trains, seating capacity will be limited, with ‘Do Not Occupy’ stickers pasted on every alternate seat.

* Standing commuters will be expected to maintain a distance of at least a metre among themselves.

How has the Metro been preparing for this situation?

The DMRC authorities have used the lockdown period to carry out long-pending tasks such as cleaning and overhauling the air-conditioning system of the train coaches.

After services resume, the cleaning and maintenance staff of the Metro will have to undertake cleaning and disinfecting exercise every four hours, wiping clean equipment such as ticket vending machines as well as hand rails, lift buttons and other devices prone to constant human touch.