Not possible to start normal services now: Metro
Kolkata: Kolkata Metro is likely to run "limited services" to help people involved in essential sectors reaching their destinations once Centre clears the state government's proposal.
However, it is not possible right at this moment to resume the normal service owing to the issue of maintaining physical distancing between commuters.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: "The Metro authorities told us of running limited services for people involved in essential sectors in today's meeting. I would urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure the same at the earliest. They are also introducing an app."
"We had requested the Kolkata Metro authorities to resume the normal service from July 1. But they have informed us that it is not possible right at this moment. It will also be of great importance even if they provide the service for the people in essential services as it will bring down pressure on buses," Banerjee said, adding that in Mumbai too it had not become possible to resume the normal service of sub-urban trains. There too it has been permitted for people involved in essential services.
In Monday's meeting in which the state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha and Principal Secretary of the state transport department Prabhat Mishra were present, the metro authorities have clarified that it is not possible right at this moment to resume the normal service as there is no sufficient manpower including the security personnel to ensure physical distancing norms between commuters. Metro railway usually operates 288 trains on weekdays. At present metro runs two pairs of trains twice a day for its own employees.
Sinha is taking up the matter with the chairman of the Railway Board to ensure that the metro service at least for people from essential services can be started at the earliest. Once the Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Health give their clearances in this regard, the Kolkata Metro authorities will be holding another meeting with the state government to finalise who will be actually allowed to avail the service meant for people from essential sectors.
This comes when the Railway Ministry has stated that no sub-urban trains and metro services will be made available till August 12.
Kolkata Metro spokesperson Indrani Mukherjee said: "Normal services cannot be resumed right now owing to the issues of physical distancing. But we said that the same for people involved in essential services can be provided we get necessary clearances."