The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is mulling to introduce foot-operated elevators to reduce hand contact, which could potentially spread coronavirus, once the train services resume post the lockdown period.
CMRL in a statement said that it is deliberating on contactless measures in order to provide safety for passengers while using elevators in the wake of COVID-19.
"CMRL has now come up with an ingenious way to avoid hand contact with elevator buttons by providing a foot-operated lift mechanism which will minimise hand contact for the users thereby reducing the virus spread," the statement said.
Currently, the facility is installed at the CMRL Admin Building at Koyambedu. If CMRL finds this as an optimal solution, then the facility will be introduced at all the metro stations, it said.
In the new facility, the horizontal elevator push buttons are present at the ground level near one of the corners of the wall. The horizontal button panels show the numbers of floors in the building. As soon as a person enters the elevator, they need to hit the number button with the foot.
In a video released by CMRL explaining the modus operandi behind the foot-operated lifts, a man is seen entering the lift and pressing a button on the horizontal pane with his foot. Another man ensures physical distancing while entering the lift and presses a button, followed by one more person pressing the floor number he wants to reach, with the foot.
The Chennai Metro Rail Limited suspended metro rail operations from March 23 to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection. The CMRL runs a train every five minutes but post the lockdown period, CMRL officials are planning to reduce the frequency of the trains in a bid to curb the spread of infection.