Metro tokens back after almost 20 months, sanitised for safety
Kolkata: Kolkata Metro Railway authority reintroduced the token system for passengers on Thursday after a span of 20 months.
The tokens are being issued from the counters of all stations. Elaborate arrangements have already been made to restore the old token system in the Metro. For the safety of commuters, 40 token sanitiser machines have been installed at all Metro stations. Collected tokens are being sanitised in these machines with the help of ultraviolet rays for about four minutes at each North-South and East-West Metro station. After U-V sanitisation, these tokens are reissued to the passengers.
While two token sanitiser machines have been kept for use in big stations, one has been kept in smaller stations.
"We welcome the decision of Kolkata Metro Railway to reintroduce tokens. We had to spend Rs 120 to buy a smart card for travelling in the Metro. In case of tokens, we have to spend Rs 10 for up to 5 km distance," said Mousumi Sarkar, a regular Metro commuter.
During the Durga Puja festival days, the underground transport recorded 3.7 lakh commuters on a single day. At present, the passenger count hovers at over 3 lakh on a daily basis.
Earlier, during the pre-COVID-19 pandemic era, passenger count used to be over seven lakh on a daily basis.
"We have issued 16,218 tokens till 3 pm on November 25, 2021," said an official of the Kolkata Metro Railway.
Kolkata Metro Railway authority had stopped issuing tokens for passengers availing the services since March 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Metro services were thrown open to the public with 50 percent seating capacity maintaining necessary COVID-19 protocols from July 16 after 61 days of suspension of services. Last year, during the initial days of the pandemic, Kolkata Metro Railway services were suspended in the last week of March and resumed on September 14 after a gap of 176 days.