‘Tough task ahead if Metro in Kolkata starts’ – Times of India

Kolkata News

Alternate chairs marked for passengers at a Metro station

KOLKATA: Should the Railway Board grant clearance for resumption of Metro services in Kolkata from Wednesday, it may prove to be a test of nerves, both for the authorities as well as commuters. While Metro Railway officials have made it clear that entry to stations will be restricted to those holding smartcards, there is bound to be a rush of people, many of who don’t have smartcards, wanting to avail of the services. They may resent the entry ban.
“Yes, there may be some commotion initially, but people will have to understand why such restrictions are required. To prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus, human contact has to be reduced to the minimum. If smart tokens are issued, we can’t achieve that. Every token will be touched by several people. Our plans are to restrict the number of people on a platform to 50. To achieve this, movement across the smart gates will be staggered. Even after entering a station, people should not think they will succeed in reaching the platform at one go. If there are people ahead of them, they may have to let go of a couple of trains,” an official said.
While trials have been held to ensure that all assets, including rolling stock, are fit for commercial run, Metro has taken the opportunity during the three-month lockdown to replace and repair old and faulty equipment. Stress has been laid on blowers and air-conditioning systems at the underground stations. Even solar panels at stations, which were damaged during Amphan, have been replaced. According to plans, Metro will carry only about a third of the nearly 6.5 lakh daily passengers it used to.
“It will be a tough ask and we will require assistance from the state for effective crowd management. There will also have to be regular sanitization of the premises and rakes. Staff will also have to be protected from the virus. There will be screening of passengers, but there can be asymptomatic cases,” the official added.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/tough-task-ahead-if-metro-starts/articleshow/76667025.cms