Kochi: The Kochi Metro is already on track and now it's the turn of the commoners to check how convenient is the new mode of public transport for them.
As the mass transport system is scheduled to be opened for the public on Monday morning, there are a fair number of guidelines that the commuters need to follow when they board the metro train.
Kochi Metro's dream run begins overriding hartal concerns
Huge luggage? Big no
The metro is meant for short distance travelers who carry backpacks and not huge luggage. The size of the bags allowed inside the train is 60-45-25 cms. Big bags wouldn’t go through the security scanners at the stations, so if you carry a bag bigger than the stipulated size you may not be allowed even into the platform.
When in the future metro service is extended till the Cochin International Airport, the restrictions on baggage might be lifted; there will be big scanners to check big bags.
Not an eatery
At the station you can buy food and have it there, but cannot eat or drink anything inside the metro train. However, you can carry food items in your bag. Commuters chewing gums or betel leaves will not be allowed inside the metro train.
Under constant watch
CCTV cameras are installed at every nook and corner of the stations, platforms and inside the metro compartments closely watching the commuters. This is managed at the operations control center near Muttom, Aluva. Immediate actions would be taken if any sort of violations of the guidelines is noticed.
Baggage checking at the stations is similar to that of airport security clearance and if anything dangerous is found inside the bags it would invite a jail sentence of four years and a fine of Rs 5,000. If any damage caused to the metro train or harm to the commuters is because of anything carried in the bag, then the damages have to be paid entirely by the person responsible. There is a fine of Rs 1,000 and one-year jail term if the security measures are misused or exploited.
Alcohol injurious, smoking kills
Liquor bottles won’t be allowed inside the train. If caught drunk during the initial security procedures you will not be allowed to travel; and it could invite a fine of Rs. 500. Smoking is also strictly prohibited in the stations, platforms and inside the compartments.
No room for 'art'
A six-month jail term and a fine of Rs 1,000 await all the ‘artists’ who are over enthusiastic to display their talents in the metro train. You surely cannot draw or scribble on the beautiful walls of the station or the coaches. Picking up fights with other travelers or using foul and abusive language inside the compartment would be an offense which could end your ride; such travelers would be slapped with a fine of Rs 500. Unlike in ordinary trains, you cannot sing aloud or play loud music from mobile phones in a metro. Listening to music with the head phones plugged in won’t be a problem.
The metro cannot be blocked
Hartals cannot affect the metro service; a jail term of four years and Rs 5,000 rupees fine await the protesters who try to block the metro train as part of their demonstration. There is a Rs 500 fine for pasting posters or hanging banners on the pillars of metro, or in the stations and coaches. The same punishment will be given for forcing oneself into the coaches or onto the tracks with the intention of blocking the train. Unauthorized selling of goods is strictly banned in the stations and inside the trains.
Apart from alcohol, inflammable objects like gas lighter, match box, kerosene, petrol or diesel are also banned inside the coaches. Like in the Delhi Metro you can carry vegetables in your bag; but not plants or soil to grow plants.
A huge rush to ride in the metro is expected during the initial days of service, and if anybody tries to sell the metro tickets in black market, the police will not hesitate to arrest them. It is an offense which could put the violator behind the bars for 6 months and a fine of Rs 500 will be charged.
The Kochi Metro Rail offers you a very comfortable ride and its standards are very high; the travelers riding the metro are expected to keep the dignity of this facility by a decent behavior. Anybody trying to violate these codes of conduct or the guidelines for ensuring a safe journey will be slapped with fines or other forms of penalties.