Metro rail services in Mumbai are gearing up to re-open for passengers from tomorrow, after almost seven months of inactivity in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic. Following that, the financial capital of India today resumed the monorail services in the city.

Monorail started operating on the 20 km corridor between Chembur and Jacob Circle in Mumbai.

Keeping in mind the Covid-19 situation, the monorail service in Mumbai resumed under full precaution and other SOPs set by the authorities. “We’ve developed internal SOP. ‘No mask-no entry’ is being followed. Services will continue from 7:03-11:40 am & 4:03-9:24 pm,” Rohan Salukhe, a senior official of the services said.

Moreover, passengers are advised to travel with minimum luggage and avoid carrying metallic items for faster frisking. They must keep only pocket-sized sanitizers, if any, during travel. At Monorail stations, entry points will be limited, according to officials.

In addition to that, Mumbai Metro services are set to resume from tomorrow, October 19, with standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place.

The Maharashtra government permitted the resumption of metro services in the state from October 15, but the company decided to start it from Monday after finishing all the safety runs. Metro train services will be only half of the pre-COVID levels and will operate at a third of the passenger capacity.

The time duration of the operations for the single 11-km line between Ghatkopar to Versova has also been curtailed to 12 hours starting from 08:30 hours daily, Mumbai Metro One’s chief executive Abhau Kumar Mishra told reporters while showing the revamped set up.

He said the cut in services, passengers and operational timing is to ensure the passenger safety through proper social distancing which needs to be followed. Only 200 services of trains will run with services in either direction in up to 8 minutes as against 5 minutes and 400 services earlier.

As against 1,350 people per service earlier, now the train will carry only 360 people.

Temperatures inside the coaches will be maintained between 25-27 degree Celsius and passengers are encouraged to use digital tickets, smart cards or QR code-based tickets, an official statement said, adding no plastic token will be issued. The authorities will be carrying out regular disinfection of all the stations and also the coaches, it said.

Over 300 workers have worked through the lockdown period for upkeep of the trains and the station infrastructure, Mishra said, adding 32 of them had turned positive for COVID-19 of which four continue to be infected.

The Monorail has been completely shut since 22 March amid the pandemic-induced lockdown in the country. Post resumption, the services will initially run 100 trips in a day. A call on running additional services will be determined by commuter response.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra government has permitted gymnasiums and fitness centres to reopen in the state from Dusshera from October 25, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Secretariat said on Saturday.

With 1,85,750 total active cases, Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected state by COVID-19 in the country. While 13,58,606 patients have recovered from the disease in the state, 41,965 have died so far

With inputs from PTI

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