The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) will suspend Aqua Line metro services and the city bus service on Sunday, in the wake of Janta Curfew on March 22, in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to citizens. The move is aimed to encourage people to stay at home, which is essential in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease – COVID-19.
Sandhya Sharma, deputy general manager, corporate communication, NMRC said, “Aqua Metro and NMRC’s bus service will remain suspended on Sunday. We are also taking proactive measures to spread awareness regarding coronavirus and ensure that trains and metro stations are clean and sanitized,” she said.
NMRC is witnessing a fall in ridership as several offices and academic institutions have closed due to the COVID-19 threat in the last two weeks. The average ridership of the first week in March was 25,557 against the average ridership in the third week of March which is 17,597. NMRC’s Aqua Line had recorded 26,079, 26,000 and 24,591 passengers on March 2, March 3 and March 4. However, the footfall has come down to 19,064, 17,720 and 16,007 on March 16, March 17 and March 18. “Since private organizations and other MNCs have advised work from home and colleges, universities and academic institutions have closed, this resulted in fall in ridership,” Sharma said.
NMRC is regularly conducting cleaning and sanitization drives at stations, crew control room, operation control room, and coaches. It is also ensuring cleanliness of areas of public touching like escalator, handrails, staircase, railings, AFC gates, lift buttons, switches, train seats, door of coaches, etc. Regular announcements are being made at every station advising people to maintain adequate social distance.
“We also urge commuters and citizens to maintain social distancing and avoid public transport until extremely essential,” NMRC said in a statement. NMRC runs the 29.7-km Aqua Line which connects Noida Sector 51 to Greater Noida’s Depot Station. The city bus service has a fleet of 50 buses which ply in Noida, Greater Noida and Greater Noida west.