New Delhi: The ministry of home affairs has allowed metro rails to resume operations from September 7 across the country. This was a long-standing demand of the Delhi government to facilitate public transport. But the nod from the Centre comes at a time when Delhi is witnessing a second surge in the number of cases. Also Read - In Only 9 Days, More Than 2000 Passengers Fined & 5000 Penalised By Delhi Metro For Not Wearing Masks

On Saturday, Delhi witnessed the highest single-day spike of cases in August as 1,954 fresh cases were reported. On August 27, Delhi recorded 1,840 fresh cases. Also Read - School Reopening News: Few States/UTs to Resume Classes From Today After Hiatus of Over 5 Months | All You Need to Know

Delhi’s highest single-day spike was 3,947 — on June 23. The number of containment zones in Delhi also jumped to 803 from 763. Also Read - Schools Reopening Tomorrow: Madhya Pradesh Board Issues SOP For Students, Teachers

Reopening of the metro at a time when the capital is witnessing the second wave of COVID-19 raises questions whether it would become a triggering point in the number of the cases.

Not only Delhi, Metros in all cities — Kolkata, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Nagpur will resume operations from September 7 in a graded manner.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has called a meeting with all managing directors of metro rail corporations on September 1 to finalise the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the functioning of metro trains allowed under the Unlock4 guidelines, an official said.

There are 17 metro corporations in the country. Once the detailed SOPs are issued by the ministry, they can issue their details keeping in mind local requirements, the official.

The SOPs already circulated with all metro corporations will be discussed on September 1 through video conferencing, the official said.

“All managing directors have been asked to look into the SOP prepared by MOHUA earlier because of the current realities. All suggestions will be considered in the meeting and accordingly, SOP will be finalised,” the official added.

Officials said that wearing a mask and social distancing norms will be strictly followed once metro trains start operating.

Metro passengers will be encouraged to follow anti-COVID-19 measures, they said, adding fines will be imposed on those violating the guidelines.

(With PTI Inputs)