Delhi Metro services will not be available till 2:30 pm on all lines of the metro, including Rapid Metro/Airport Express Line on account of Holi, announced Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, amid a surge in novel coronavirus cases in the national capital, the Delhi Police today appealed to people to avoid public gatherings on Holi and celebrate the festival at home in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.
It also warned of strict action against those found indulging in public celebrations during the festival.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Tuesday ordered that there would be no public celebrations in the national capital during the upcoming festivals such as Holi and Navaratri.
According to the DDMA order, people not allowed to go out and play Holi in large numbers. “Delhi Police appeals to the public to celebrate Holi with their family members at home. Strict legal action will be taken against those found playing Holi outside in large gatherings,” an official said.
Moreover, in view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Delhi Metro has decided to intensify its drive to ensure commuters maintain social distancing and wear masks inside trains and on station premises.
As per the existing COVID-19 safety protocol, it is mandatory for all passengers to enter station premises after thermal screening, hand sanitisation and with a face mask on. Following social distancing norms on metro premises is also a must throughout the journey period, the DMRC said in a statement.
As part of intensified measures to contain the COVID-19 spread, entry at stations will be regulated based on social distancing on the premises, especially at major stations like Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, ITO etc., during morning and evening peak hours, it said.
While waiting in queues, passengers will be strictly required to wait on the marked social distancing circles or stripes. If it is found that distancing is not being followed, entry gates will be closed at those stations until distancing is ensured, the DMRC said.
Inside the trains, the number of flying squads and the frequency of checking is being increased to ensure that COVID safety protocol is strictly adhered to, and offenders will be penalized on the spot, the statement said.
The DMRC also directed its officials posted at stations to intensify inspection and ensure that all travel protocols are strictly complied to by both the Metro staff and the passengers, it said.
On Friday, the flying squads penalised 758 commuters for such violations, the DMRC said on Twitter.