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Extra transport plea for TET

The primary education board has appealed to the railways and the transport department to run additional trains and buses on March 30, a Sunday, for the convenience of those taking the primary teacher eligibility test (TET).

The board has also urged police to guide the examinees if they face any problem in locating their exam centres.

Nearly 20 lakh examinees are expected to write the second primary TET, around 3.5 lakh more than last year and almost double the number of Madhyamik examinees this year.

Several students had struggled to reach the exam venues last year as public transport is usually scarce on Sundays. Many had missed the exam while several others had reached the centres late. The board had allegedly not alerted the railways, transport department and the police last year about the additional requirements.

“We don’t want a repeat of last year’s chaos. So we have approached the railways and the transport department in advance and requested them to operate extra trains and buses on the day of the exam so that students do not face any difficulty in reaching the venues in time,” said Bhattacharya.

“The transport department has promised to do the needful but the railways has not yet responded.”

Bhattacharya said the board has written to the railways twice since November but a senior railway official denied this. “We haven’t got any such request from the state government yet,” said a spokesperson for Eastern Railway.

Metro Railway officials, too, denied having received any such request. “Even if such a request comes now, we have to seek permission from the Election Commission to run additional trains because of the Lok Sabha polls,” said a Metro official.

Election Commission sources said that seeking such permission from the poll panel, while the model code is in place, is standard practice and such requests are granted immediately.

“There will be so many candidates travelling to the exam venue. If permission is sought for running extra trains for their convenience we’ll definitely give the go- ahead immediately,” said an official.

Bhattacharya said a fresh appeal would be made to the railways on Wednesday.

“A meeting is scheduled for Thursday where senior police officers and transport department officials will be present to finalise the preparations for the March 30 test,” Bhattacharya said.

The admit cards of students will mention the name of the police station nearest to the exam centre and students have been asked to approach the police if they cannot locate their venues.

Of the 20 lakh examinees enrolled this year, 14 lakh had sat for the test last year too but did not qualify. These candidates have been allotted the same exam centre as last year. “Last year’s examinees already have an idea about the centre and they should not have a problem in finding their centres this time,” Bhattacharya said.

The remaining six lakh-odd candidates have been allotted schools in their own district so that it is easy for them to locate the centres.

Theft cuffs

Nine persons from Trichy district in Tamil Nadu were arrested on Tuesday afternoon from an SBI branch in Serampore, Hooghly, on the charges of attempting to steal money from customers.

According to police, one of the customers at the Dhobighat branch of SBI raised the alarm around 1pm.

The guards immediately locked the main gate of the bank and alerted the police. The men were arrested after officers of Serampore police station searched everyone present in the bank.