Is an airport-style app-based online boarding pass going to be a way to control passenger numbers on the metro?
In the Corona situation, the proposal to abide by the distance rules has come up in the meeting of the state administration and the metro authorities. Both sides are reportedly considering how to implement the proposed measure.
Metro authorities expressed doubts at the meeting on whether it is possible to maintain social distance between the passengers if the current system is introduced. An eight-compartment train has 32 doors on each side. As a result, the Metro does not have the large number of guards needed to monitor how many people are getting up or down in a room, they told the meeting. Not only that, a large number of guards are needed at all the stations to check the body temperature of the passengers as they enter the platform.
Metro authorities said they had to work with a small number of workers following the Railway Ministry’s instructions to reduce traffic congestion due to the corona. Except for the officers, everyone is working in a ‘rotation’ manner. As a result, it is not possible to run the same number of trains with half the staff.
Metro authorities used to run 26 trains a day in pre-Corona situation. They said the number of daily trains there could drop by almost half. There is a danger of increasing the crowd of passengers on the platform if the train derails. In that case it will be impossible to follow the distance rules. Besides, it is not possible to make an arrangement that the train will not stop at another station once all the seats of the train are filled at one station like the government bus, the metro officials said
The meeting also raised the issue of non-operation of Metro in any city of India. The train will be closed till August 12 on the instructions of the Home Ministry.
That’s when the issue of giving priority to passengers associated with emergency services in the style of Maharashtra came up. Metro authorities also expressed such interest. In this situation, the issue of app-dependent boarding passes came up to find a solution to control the crowd. Administration officials said the app could be effective in determining who, when and where passengers will board the train. There are such arrangements in several metro stations abroad. The two sides are discussing how to implement the measure here, sources said.
Later, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself informed about the app. Metro officials, however, did not want to comment on the matter. Chief Public Relations Officer Indrani Banerjee said, “We are not in a position to run the normal number of trains. At the same time, how to comply with distance rules is also the biggest question in operating a service. We will follow the instructions given by the Railway Board. ”