Noida: Aqua Line restarts metro; ridership low on first day

  • | Tuesday | 8th September, 2020

Noida: The Noida Metro Rail Corporation’s (NMRC) on Monday put in place arrangements for contactless frisking, thermal scanning and sanitisation at all metro stations as it resumed services five months after they were suspended as part of efforts to check the Covid-19 spread. The day began with just two to four passengers on each train from 7 am to 11 am.

Noida: The Noida Metro Rail Corporation’s (NMRC) on Monday put in place arrangements for contactless frisking, thermal scanning and sanitisation at all metro stations as it resumed services five months after they were suspended as part of efforts to check the Covid-19 spread. The day began with just two to four passengers on each train from 7 am to 11 am.

Metro staff and security personnel were deployed, with safety gear in tow, to guide commuters at the stations. At the Sector 51 metro station which HT visited, NMRC had placed a contactless hand sanitiser and temperature checking machine at the entry gate. Once the temperature is checked, commuters need to sanitise their hands and display the Aarogya Setu app’s green status, after which they are guided to get tickets. People can use smart cards, or get tickets using the NMRC’s mobile app, or from ticket counters, after which commuters are guided to the frisking/checking booth. The commuters are now required to put all their belongings such as bags, mobile phones or any other metallic objects, like keys, in trays for checking, much like the checking counters at airports. There is no manual frisking anymore.

Meenu Singh, a commuter who boarded the metro from Sector 51 said: “The metro is always a more suitable option for me to get to Pari Chowk. I am happy that the service has resumed, but I feel there is still a sense of fear with regards to Covid. Hence, many people hesitate to use public transport, including the Metro.” Constant announcements were made at the stations and inside the trains to remind passengers about precautionary measures and to urge them to follow guidelines. The stations and trains were constantly monitored at the control centres with the help of CCTV cameras.

Shekhar Upadhyaya, another commuter, said he had been eagerly waiting for the metro to come back to life. “I live in Greater Noida and work in Noida. In absence of metro services, I had to ride my scooter to and from work but it’s not feasible to ride a two-wheeler for such a long distance every day. I am satisfied with the safety arrangements by NMRC. It is as if we are checking in at an airport,” he said. The corporation has also started the parking facility at some metro stations which also few customers utilised on Monday. In the morning up to 11am, the Aqua Line recorded a ridership of 200. Around 400 passengers used the Aqua Line between 5pm to 9pm, a NMRC spokesperson said.

Praveen Mishra, NMRC’s executive director, said the commuter response was satisfactory on Monday. “This is the first day of resumption of services and hence the number of passengers is less. We hope the situation will improve and more people will prefer to travel in Noida metro,” he said. Metro officials said people will gradually feel confident to travel on the Metro again. They said businesses and offices have not resumed functioning fully and that is why they expect lesser footfall initially.

The corporation, in association with an NGO - Ranganathan Society for Social Welfare - has also set up a stall at the Sector 51 Metro Station selling masks made by women who have lost jobs due to the pandemic. The price of these masks range from Rs 5-50. Ritu Maheshwari, NMRC’s managing director, said all the passengers were screened at the entry points for temperature. “Their hands were also sanitised at the entrances, post which they were allowed to enter the metro premises. The passengers maintained adequate social distancing and stood on the floor markings made at the stations, platforms and inside the trains. The NMRC trains were also fully sanitised after each trip. The stations, platform and other “contact areas” such as call buttons of lifts, AFC (automatic fare collection) gates, handle belts of escalators and staircases, etc., were also sanitised at regular intervals,” she said.

As per current plan, the Aqua Line is going to run in the peak hours in morning –7am to 11am – and in the evening – 5pm to 9pm – with a frequency of 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday, at a frequency of 15 minutes. On Sundays the services will start from 8am to 11am and from 5pm to 9pm, . The Aqua Line (29.7 km) has 21 metro stations and it connects Noida Sector 51 station to Greater Noida’s Depot Station.



Stay updated with all the Noida Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles