5 NEET special trains run with just 21 passengers

0
1

NEW DELHI: Officials at Dehradun railway station were taken aback on Sunday afternoon when an ‘exam special’ train, meant for NEET aspirants, arrived completely empty at the station from Moradabad. A team of doctors, government officials and other railway staffers deputed at the platform to check the students on arrival went back empty-handed.
Sitaram Sonkar, station superintendent at Dehradun railway station, told TOI that “since there were over 18 centres for NEET in Dehradun and 12 in nearby Roorkee, the Railways had specially organised this train so that students could commute easily.
“It came as a surprise to us that no one took the train,” he added. Interestingly, attendance at the exam centres in Dehradun and Roorkee was high and a large number of students could be seen queuing up to appear for the exam. A Railways official said that “perhaps due to the Covid threat, students preferred to make their own arrangements to reach the exam centres rather than opting for the special trains.”
The fate of several other ‘exam specials’ operated by the Moradabad, Prayagraj and Agra divisions was no better. According to Railways sources, the special NEET train that ran from Bareilly to Ghaziabad had just one passenger while the one from Bareillyto Lucknow had five. In all, the five special trains that the Moradabad railway division organised for NEET exam aspirants for travel to and from Dehradun, Roorkee, Lucknow and Moradabad got a total of 21 passengers. And the Railways, which spent lakhs on operating these trains, made a princely sum of Rs 1040.
Anuj Singh, assistant commercial manager (ACM), Moradabad division, said, “The Bareilly to Ghaziabad train got one passenger and earned Rs 65 while the Bareilly to Lucknow exam special got five passengers and had earnings of Rs 230. Train no. 04305 — Bulandshahr to Bareilly — got three passengers and we have earned Rs145 from it. Maximum 12 passengers boarded the exam special from Haridwar to Bareilly, providing earnings of Rs 600.”
Keshav Tripathi, PRO, Prayagraj division, said that the response of NEET aspirants to the exam special trains operated by their division was also “quite dull.”
“The special train that ran from Aligarh to Delhi — which was operated by our division — was boarded by five people only, incurring a total income of around Rs 250 for the Railways,” he said.
In Agra division, too, the exam special that ran from Kosi Kalan (Mathura) to Delhi, was boarded by just 10 passengers.
Similarly, a 10-coach NEET special train travelled 400 km from Neemuchto Bhopal, carrying only 15 candidates.
Sources said that 27 students had registered for the 720-seater special, but a dozen didn’t turn up allegedly due to Covid fear. Nine of the 10 coaches came to Bhopal completely empty. Another NEET special, from Anuppur, fared somewhat better as 270 students took it, but most of its 18 coaches were empty.
Some of the students felt more of them would have taken the special if the Railways had announced it earlier. “The exam date was fixed long ago, but the train was announced only a day in advance. Very few students would ignore their travel plans this late,” said Prashant Nema, an aspirant.
Another candidate, Anuj Shastri, said many students found it more convenient to travel by a hired vehicle. “It was not clear if there would be any transport available for the exam centre after we arrived at Bhopal station. So, many of us pooled cars,” he said.
(With inputs from Ramendra Singh in Bhopal)

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here