Masks Mandatory, No Standing Passengers

A day after the Delhi government announced that city buses and metro trains will return to running to their full seating capacity throughout the week in the wake of long queues witnessed at various bus stands and stations of the mass rapid transit system, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has informed that no standing passengers will be allowed inside the train till further notice.

“Public Service Announcement, in the wake of the latest guidelines issued by DDMA, Delhi Metro will be running with the 100 per cent seating capacity and no standing passengers will be allowed till further notice,” DMRC tweeted on Wednesday.

To avoid crowding at stations, the Delhi government has decided to operate metros and buses at full capacity. However, commuters need to wear masks and follow proper social distancing while traveling.

The new regulations came as the Delhi government had feared that bus stops and metro stations could become super spreaders after the seating capacity had been halved and long queues were seen at such places. “There will be a curfew on Saturdays and Sundays. People are requested to step out only when it is absolutely necessary. The weekend curfew will begin from Friday evening to Monday morning,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

On December 28, the DDMA declared a ‘yellow alert’ after the positivity rate crossed the 0.5 per cent mark, and closed down cinemas and gyms. It had directed shops selling non-essential items to open on an odd-even basis and reduced the seating capacity in metro trains and buses to 50 per cent. Night curfew from 11 pm to 5 pm has already been imposed in Delhi since December 27.

“Fearing that bus stops and metro stations can become super spreaders due to overcrowding, it has been decided to run buses and metro trains on full capacity. But no one can travel without a mask,” Sisodia said. Sources said the Delhi Metro will comply with all new regulations of the DDMA. The DMRC network’s current span is nearly 392 km with 286 stations, including the NoidaGreater Noida Metro Corridor and Rapid Metro, Gurgaon.

Long queues of people have been seen outside various Delhi Metro stations after imposition of ‘yellow alert’ curbs by authorities to check the spread of rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi. On December 30, a group of people had blocked MB Road and damaged a few DTC buses after not being allowed to board a vehicle which had exceeded the permissible passenger-carrying capacity amid new restrictions.

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