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Metro on Sunday for NEET candidates

Over 30,000 aspirants are expected to take the test at 66 centres in Calcutta
“A total of 66 trains will be run (33 each from Noapara and New Garia) from 11am to 7pm at an interval of 15 minutes,” a Metro official said.

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 10.09.20, 02:00 AM

Metro Railway will run a limited number of trains on Sunday for NEET aspirants, the first passenger service in 173 days since the utility had grounded its fleet on March 23 because of the Covid pandemic.

“A total of 66 trains will be run (33 each from Noapara and New Garia) from 11am to 7pm at an interval of 15 minutes,” a Metro official said.

“Only NEET candidates and their guardians can avail themselves of the service. They will have to show their admit cards at the gates of stations to get printed tickets. No tokens will be issued,” the official added.

Over 30,000 candidates are expected to take the test at 66 centres in Calcutta. The test will be conducted from 2pm to 5pm.

The state unit of the Indian Medical Association will provide NEET candidates and their family members one or two nights' accommodation at its guest houses in Calcutta. Santanu Sen, the state secretary of the association, tweeted that the accommodation would be provided at a “special discounted rate” on a "first come first served” basis on the “previous night or the day of the examination”.

Interested persons should send a message to 8240716350 before 6pm on Friday, the tweet said.

The Metro service has remained suspended since March 23. There has been no formal announcement of the date of resumption of commercial service in Calcutta. But crowd control preparations with the help of technology are under way.

The railway authorities will keep an eye on how Metro trains run before taking a call on resuming suburban trains, said a senior official.

“We will see how Metro trains run by maintaining social distancing and crowd control protocols. They are taking the help of technology. But there are doubts on the efficacy of that technology in the open line. We will examine how the technology progresses on the ground,” Suneet Sharma, the general manager of Eastern Railway, said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“Metro Railway carried 6.5 lakh passengers every day. The suburban sections of the Eastern Railway carried 30 lakh passengers every day. Metro stations have access-control facilities. Access control at the porous suburban stations is going to be very difficult. But we are in consultation with the state government. We hope something positive comes out of it,” said Sharma.

“We have sent the state government crucial correspondence. Now we have to wait and see what happens once Metro trains resume,” he said.

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