Hyderabad Metro to resume operations in phased manner

Hyderabad, Sep 3 : After more than five months, Hyderabad Metro Rail is all set to resume its operations from September 7 by operating trains on one of its three corridors.

Following the Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued by the Centre and the permission accorded by the state government, Hyderabad Metro Rail on Thursday announced resumption of services in a phased manner.

Under the first phase, the Miyapur to LB Nagar corridor would be made operational from September 7. However, the services would be operated from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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The Nagole to Raidurg stretch would also be made operational from the next day. Under the third phase, all three corridors would be operational from September 9 with services from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Frequency of trains will be around five minutes. It will be improved or decreased based on passenger traffic and to avoid crowding, said Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy.

Five stations falling in the containment zones will remain closed. They are — Gandhi Hospital, Bharat Nagar, Moosapet, Musheerabad and Yusufguda.

N.V.S. Reddy held a meeting with L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited MD K.V.B. Reddy and senior officials of HMRL and L&T MRHL on the preparedness and safety measures to be taken for resumption of services.

The meeting evolved the broad guidelines and the standard operating procedures (SOPs). In order to ensure social distancing, suitable markings will be made at the stations and inside the trains. Alternate seats will be marked ‘X’ inside the train and kept vacant.

“Wearing face mask is mandatory for all passengers and staff. Metro Rail will make arrangements for supply of masks on payment basis to the persons arriving without mask. Suitable penalty as per the regulations shall be imposed for any violation,” Reddy said.

Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel after thermal screening at the entry point of the stations. Symptomatic persons would be advised to go to a nearby Covid Care Centre/hospital for testing/medical attention.

Pedal sanitisers will be kept at the entry points for the passengers. Proper PPE kits and sanitisers will be provided to the employees/security personnel, who are likely to be in proximate contact with the commuters for longer duration.

Smart cards and mobile QR tickets with cashless/online transactions will be encouraged.

Hyderabad Metro, which had suspended commercial operations from March 22, will be resuming the services after 169 days. It was operating 55 trains carrying about 4.5 lakh passengers every day before the lockdown.

The 73-km elevated metro is the biggest metro project in the world in public private partnership (PPP) model at a total cost of Rs 20,000 crore.

L&T MRHL, the private partner in the project, is estimated to have suffered Rs 300 crore loss during the last five-and-a-half months.

However, those associated with the project say that it will take a very long time before the Metro could get back to pre-Covid days as business activities are yet to return to normal and people are still scared to travel.

L&T MRHL is reported to be looking for the state government’s support till things completely return to normal. The government has reportedly assured L&T that it will extend all subsidies and financial support to recover the earnings lost during the lockdown period.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the project was doing well by breaking new records in terms of passenger patronage.

The L&T MRHL was making operational profits but the officials had estimated that it could take another 7-8 years for the project to reach break-even. Now with Covid-19 and its long-term impact, this is likely to get further delayed.

In February this year, with the launch of the 11-km stretch from the Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) to the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), Hyderabad Metro Rail had become the second largest metro rail network in the country after Delhi, covering a distance of 69.2 km.

Barring the 3.78 km stretch from MGBS to Falaknuma, the famous palace in the old city, the entire project has been completed.

The project was inaugurated in November 2017 with the opening of the Miyapur-Ameerpet-Nagole section. Subsequently, three other sections were opened.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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