Delhi Metro resumed its full services on Saturday, with the Airport Express Line reopening after a break of over 170 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 1.5 lakh people had used the subway services through various corridors until 7:30 pm. Of these, 2,268 people used the Airport Line, said a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official.
All DMRC network corridors are now operational and utilities will follow the pre-coronavirus schedule – 6 AM to 11 PM.
“With the resumption of service at the Airport Express Line, all Delhi Metro network lines are now open! Remember to follow the directions when traveling. #MetroBackOnTrack,” the DMRC said in a tweet earlier in the day.
The DMRC said about 200 passengers were advised not to wear face masks properly.
In addition, 114 passengers were fined Rs 200 each for violating social distance norms or not wearing masks or face masks inside trains, she said in a statement.
Many passengers said they felt safe traveling on the subway.
Shahjahan Khan (29), who works with a private firm in Seelampur, said, “I believe it is safer to travel on the subway with the necessary measures in place and more than anything else, it saves time and money, he said.
Before resuming subway services, he used to travel to work in a taxi or on an autograph, he said.
Sangeeta Verma (45), a housewife who had to leave due to a family emergency said, “Many of my relatives who have traveled on the subway said it was safe as all security measures have been taken by the authorities “So I thought why not try it.”
“How long can we wait for the situation to normalize? We have to leave, if not today then tomorrow,” said Verma, a Dwarka resident as he left subway station Rajiv Chowk.
Metro services in Delhi and the National Capital Region were shut down on March 22 to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs had recently issued instructions allowing the Delhi Metro to resume operations in a gradual manner, after which the DMRC had said it would be done in three phases from September 7-12.
Delhi Metro resumed services on Monday with the limited operation of Yellow Line and Rapid Metro. The second phase began Friday with the Magenta and Gray lines opening their doors to passengers and extended service hours.
The third phase went into effect on Saturday with subway services returning to pre-COVID-19 timetable.
Now that services have resumed on all lines, the DMRC will henceforth make public only “line usage” figures as was done before the block. These figures reflect the current use of the metro system distributed over 400 km with 28 interchange stations.
On Sunday, the DMRC will begin its services two hours earlier than the normal 8 AM time to facilitate students applying for the NEET exam on September 13th.
“This Sunday, September 13, Metro operations will begin at 6:00 a.m. in all sections. Starting next Sunday, September 20, regular time according to the earliest timetable with services starting at “8:00 a.m. on Phase 3 (Sunday) sections will continue. #MetroBackOnTrack,” the DMRC said in a tweet.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a shared source.)