Kolkata, September 14 (HS) : Ending severe inconveniences and uncertainty for thousands of daily commuters, especially the office goers for over five months, the Kolkata Metro Railway resumed its services after 176 days today amid considerable enthusiasm.
“Though there were some initial hiccups in the morning to issue the mandatory e-pass from a specially designed Metro Rail app to passengers to get their entry for underground travel, but following immediate action taken by us to overcome the problem and upgrading the capacity of the server, the issue was resolved on time,” said Kolkata Metro Railway Chief Public Relations Manager Indrani Banerjee.
Speaking to Hindsusthan Samachar about the first day’s running of the Metro Rail services today after such a long gap and following month long preparations, Banerjee said since the resumption of services from 8am today, nearly 5,000 passengers had got their e passes to travel in Metro till 2 pm.
“We hope the number would increase substantially after a few days,” she said and felt that most of the daily commuters were looking into the safety arrangements before boarding the train on regular basis.
Before the closure of the metro services, over 400,000 people used to travel in Kolkta Metro rail every day, she said adding that because of the present Covid-19 situation they decided to control the number of passengers to only about 20,000 per day.
In order to reduce the daily public misery for not getting enough public transport on city roads, the Metro Railway authorities in consultation with the West Bengal government decided to resume the underground train services from today after a gap of 176 days with all precautions to maintain the maximum health protocols to prevent further spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly the system of issuing daily ticket was withdrawn and it was decided to allow only those passengers having smart card and had obtained their daily e-pass to travel on both ways. As such only those passengers having both smart card and e pass for the day were being allowed to enter the platform and board the train, Banerjee informed.
Apart from controlling the expected rush of daily commuters by brining a change in the ticketing system, we have decided to run the Metro services for 12 hours only from 8am to 8 pm from every Monday to Saturday, Banerjee said adding while the gap between two trains would be 10 minutes during the office hours in the morning and in the evening. Otherwise the gap would be of 15 minutes between two trains.
“The resumption of Metro services have come as a huge relief and a welcome change for us like the office goers,”said Surya Chatterjee, a bank employee who has to travel from Tollygune to Syambazar every day and back while travelling in one of the rush hour metros.
Similar views were expressed by several other passengers, while a few of them also expressed their reservations about the difficulties in booking of e tickets. “I wonder those who do not posses any smart phone, how they would travel in Metro,” asked Souyma Basak, another traveller from Kalighat station.
“We are aware of the problem and would try to solve them soon keeping in mind the safety issue,” Banerjee said when her attention was drawn to the issue.