Rajat Sharma

Thousands travel in overcrowded trains in Bihar to appear for exam

AKB0410On Sunday (January 12), thousands of aspirants for the Bihar Police constable entrance exams flocked to railway stations, forced their way into reserved compartments of trains and travelled on rooftops to reach their examination centres. Near Hajipur , they stoned the Delhi-bound Guwahati Rajdhani Express and blocked rail and road traffic, alleging that there were no trains to travel to Bettiah and Motihari, where the exam centres were located.

India TV in its programme ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ showed videos of students clinging on to the engines and doors of overcrowded coaches. Hundreds of them were sitting on rooftops. Railway officials who arrived at the scene with police force tried to unload the aspirants who were clinging to the engine of the train. Hundreds of exam aspirants were stranded on railway platforms as there were no trains available.

In the last one year, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has done a lot to improve the working of Indian Railways. He had promised a day ago that the railways would run high speed trains on most of the routes and passenger amenities would be improved. Goyal may have to do some rethink after seeing these visuals of overcrowded trains in Bihar. He would definitely understand the scale and scope of his Herculean task.

There is no denying the fact that there has been overall improvement in train services and maintenance of railway stations. Wi-fi facilities have been provided at nearly 100 stations and anti-collision devices have been installed in several trains to avoid disasters. Trains are, more of less, running on time and the number of general coaches has been increased.

In spite of all these steps, if candidates travel by clinging to engines and doors of coaches, the system needs to be held accountable. The dates for Bihar Police constable entrance exams were common knowledge and Bihar police could have informed the railways in advance so that the railways could have arranged special trains for the candidates. But this was not done and the result is there for all of us to see.

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