AGENCIES, New Delhi: Metro rail services are likely to be allowed in the fourth phase of unlocking the country from the coronavirus-linked restrictions that is expected to be rolled out by next month, government sources said.
But schools and colleges will still remain shut and restrictions will remain on crowded places like cinema halls. The final call to resume Metro services will, however, depend on the state governments. Delhi Metro is likely to start services from September 1, but with extensive restrictions.
The talk of opening the Delhi Metro gained momentum after a request from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who contended that the coronavirus situation in Delhi has improved. “I have requested the Centre that Delhi should be treated differently,” Kejriwal said at an online meet with traders, entrepreneurs and businessmen.
“The coronavirus 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,” the CM added.
Sources said the Centre’s reasoning was that flight and train services have resumed which requires passengers to be inside a train or plane for hours. In comparison, the longest Metro journey cannot stretch for more than two hours and is possible if all the safety measures can be maintained.
The Unlock3 guidelines that came on July 30 ended night curfew and allowed the opening of yoga institutes that are not in containment zones. Restrictions remained in place in all other areas that involve large gatherings — be it educational institutions, public parks or cinema halls.