Metro rail services in Chennai will now be operational from 5:30 am to 11 pm starting from August 23 and will function across five days, from Mondays to Saturdays. Further, the frequency of trains is to be increased to one every five minutes during peak hours, that is 8 am to 11 am in the mornings and 8 pm to 11 pm in the evenings. At all other hours, trains will arrive every ten minutes.
Passengers are expected to wear masks at the stations and inside the train for the safety of everyone around. Those who do not wear masks or are wearing them incorrectly will be fined Rs 200, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited has warned. From June 21 to August 21 this year, a total fine amount of Rs 35,200 has been collected from 176 passengers, they added.
The announcement from the CMRL is in lieu of high demand from commuters and new COVID-19 relaxations that includes the re-opening of many public spaces, including theatres (at 50% occupancy), beaches, zoos and botanical parks, among others, from August 23 onwards. Shops will be allowed to stay open for another hour and must close by 10:00 pm. State-run buses to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are also set to resume. IT offices have been permitted to function at 100% occupancy. Schools for Classes 9 to 12 and colleges are also set to open from September 1 onwards on a shift basis, the government announced on Saturday.
Tamil Nadu on Saturday saw 1,652 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 fatalities, the Health Department said in its daily bulletin. This takes the total number of cases to 25,99,255 and deaths 34,686 till date. The number of recoveries were more than fresh infections with 1,859 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours. Coimbatore, Chennai and Erode reported most of the new cases with 205, 183 and 152 cases respectively.
With PTI inputs