Capital on storm alert: Evening schools shut, rescue teams on standby, Metro to exercise caution

New Delhi: Along with closing all evening schools in Delhi on Tuesday, the Delhi government has put search and rescue teams on standby and the traffic police has alerted their field formations to be ready for removal of obstacles after the meteorological department on Monday issued a warning of heavy rain and thunderstorm.

The government said that all evening schools (second shift which starts from the afternoon) will be shut on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary Anshu Prakash to review prepardness in the wake of the warning.

“All evening schools will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday) following the weather warning,” a senior government official told PTI.

The traffic police has asked commuters to check weather conditions before travelling, while the Delhi Metro too has decided to exercise extreme caution in running of trains in the wake of the warning.

The revenue department of the Delhi government has issued directions to all district officers and said water and power utilities would also keep restoration teams ready .

“The district and sub-district search and rescue teams have been put on standby,” a senior official of the department said.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), thunderstorm, accompanied with gusty winds, are very likely to hit isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh on Monday and Tuesday.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which operates trains in the national capital and NCR, said it would exercise extreme caution in running of trains.

“If wind speed is reported in the range of 70-90 kmph then train movement will remain normal but trains will enter with a restricted speed of 40 kmph or less at the platforms on elevated section.”

“If wind speed is reported more than 90 kmph then trains will be put on hold at platforms and no train will enter platform with a speed of more than 15 kmph,” a senior DMRC official told PTI.

In this case, normal movement of trains will be restored once the wind speed is reported less then 85kmph for continuous five minutes. Appropriate announcements will be made at stations during this period, he said.

At the same time, the Delhi Traffic Police has advised commuters to plan their journey after checking the weather conditions.

The Delhi Traffic Police’s advisory states that it has alerted the field formations to be ready to get obstacles such as fallen trees removed.

The advisory has asked commuters to avoid travelling during the storm.

Those who are stopping on the road or parking their vehicle have been advised to keep away from overhead electrical wires, tinned roofs, trees, etc., it said.

The commuters have been advised to take shelter under concrete structures. Drivers have been advised to use dippers or parking lights while driving.

The advisory says that commuters should “keep themselves updated about weather conditions and plan their journey accordingly”.

At least 124 people were killed and more than 300 others injured in five states due to dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning last week.