Unlock 4.0 guidelines announced: Metro services to resume from 7 Sep; schools, colleges to remain shut till 30 Sep

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted from 21 September as part of Unlock 4.0, but with a ceiling of 100 persons

FP Staff August 29, 2020 21:58:14 IST
Unlock 4.0 guidelines announced: Metro services to resume from 7 Sep; schools, colleges to remain shut till 30 Sep

The Union Home Ministry on Saturday issued the Unlock 4.o guidelines under which metro trains will be allowed to resume services from 7 September in a graded manner, while political, social and religious congregations of up to 100 people will be permitted from 21 September. Any area that falls under a containment zone will follow the same lockdown rules applicable up till now, until 30 September.

In a significant directive, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a directive that state governments shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the Central Government.

The guidelines also said that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods iether. And that no separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Schools and colleges to remain shut till end of September

However, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till 30 September, with some relaxations for students of classes 9 to 12.

The ministry said that states and Union Territory governments may permit up to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.

Students of Classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.

This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians, according to the guidelines.

Social, political events allowed from 21 Sep; Cinema halls to remain shut

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 21 September.

However, such limited gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitiser, the guidelines said. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, will remain closed, but open air theatres may open with half-capacity from 21 September.

Metro services set to resume from 7 Sep

Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7 September in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA), the Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with the MHA.

In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the MOHUA.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had last week said that it will be prepared to resume operations whenever directed by the government.

Inside metro premises like stations and train coaches, wearing of masks will be mandatory and social distancing norms will be followed as per government guidelines, and people not wearing masks will not be allowed to enter metro premises, officials said.

"Trains will halt for longer duration than on regular days to allow commuters to board coaches and alight from it while maintaining physical distance. Also, the number of persons permissible to board a lift will be reduced in view of social distancing, and the exact number is still being worked out," a source told PTI.

One train coach can accommodate about 50 passengers on seats and a total of nearly 300 riders in the entire compartment, including standing commuters. With social distancing norms, this number will reduce drastically.

From new smart cards with auto top-up facility to stickers on social distancing norms pasted on seats and platform floors, Delhi Metro is all set to handle commuters in adherence to COVID-19 safety guidelines, whenever the services are ordered to be resumed, officials had earlier said.

The paramilitary force that guards the metro network in the National Capital Region has prepared a fresh "business continuity plan" that will be implemented in "consultation" with the urban development ministry and the DMRC.

Encouraging commuters to download the Aarogya Setu mobile app and intensifying electronic and manual surveillance on all activities in metro premises have also been suggested by the force, besides several measures for maintaining social distancing.

The plan has been prepared to ensure that the health and security of metro staff and the passengers are not compromised and to enable a sound counter-terrorist cover during the COVID-19 times in the over 230 stations of the rapid rail transport system often called the 'lifeline' of Delhi-NCR.

The Delhi Metro has suffered a loss of nearly Rs 1,300 cr since the closure of services since late March due to the COVID-19 situation. On regular days, the average daily ridership of DMRC is over 26 lakh, PTI reported quoting sources.

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With inputs from PTI

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