Long queues were seen outside Metro stations as the Delhi government directed Delhi Metro to restrict passengers to 50% of seating capacity and not allow standing commuters in its trains.

On Tuesday, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started restricting passenger movement at stations, a few hours after the government sounded the “Yellow Alert” under the first phase of Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the national capital.

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Officials also said that there will be no changes in the schedule of trains. “Around 50% of the gates will remain open at Metro stations. Of 712 gates across all Metro stations, 444 will be kept open as of now. We have our teams to check strict enforcement of the order,” said a DMRC official.

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DMRC also urged people to restrict travel only for essential activities. “In view of the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, entry through some of the gates will be regulated. Passengers are therefore requested to travel only if absolutely essential and keep some additional time for their travel,” it tweeted on Tuesday.

The operations of Delhi Metro were shut in March last year during the lockdown, and resumed at 50% capacity in September. In July this year, 100% seating for passengers was allowed and in November, standing passengers too were permitted in trains.

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Delhi Metro has incurred huge operational losses due to the restrictions, and the DMRC has already written to the state government and the Centre for financial assistance to make up for the losses incurred due to the restriction on travel.