Metro trains ready to operate up to Pettah

The Kochi Metro

The Kochi Metro  

Plan to limit passenger capacity to 175 per train

Kochi metro trains are gearing up to operate all the way up to Pettah, hoping that the State government will accord its nod to resume metro services once the extended lockdown ends on May 17.

The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) is expected to inspect the Thykoodam-Pettah corridor the coming week, since the last leg of work is getting over. Services can begin once he issues the safety certificate. All the 25 trains are ready to commence operations in the corridor. The trains have been undergoing trial runs along the corridor every few days, said sources at Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).

Asked whether the frequency of services would be reduced from a train every six minutes, the sources said it was unlikely. Commuters are likely to opt for the system of mass rapid transport in larger numbers, since buses and autorickshaws are out of service. “However, number of passengers per train will be limited to 175, although the seating capacity is 350 and the crush load (maximum number of passengers) is 975,” they added. This is to ensure social distancing.

Meanwhile, experts in the public transport sector are reiterating their demand that KMRL announce innovative schemes so that the metro gets adequate number of passengers all through its operating hours and not just during peak hours. “It must announce a special weekly pass using which one can travel unlimited trips. It could be in the range of ₹300 for seven days or ₹250 for 5 days. Police personnel, nurses and COVID-19 volunteers must be given special discounts, to honour their service during this tough time,” said Ebenezer Chullikkat, an office bearer of Greater Cochin Development Watch (GCDW), an NGO.

The core area of focus should be in eliminating paper tickets, thus avoiding direct cash transaction. It could also avoid rush at tickets counters, he added.

The metro agency has taken steps to disinfect trains after each trip and digital thermal scanning cameras will be deployed at stations to ensure passenger safety. In addition, wearing face mask will be mandatory on all Kochi metro premises and at metro stations. The air-condition ducts of the trains will be cleaned before inducting the train in service. AAll public contact points such as automatic fare collection (AFC) gates, ticket counters, handrails of staircase, escalators, lift buttons, and platform chairs would be cleaned with disinfectants every day, said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, managing director of KMRL.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:08:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/metro-trains-ready-to-operate-up-to-pettah/article31585800.ece

Next Story