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RANCHI: Hundreds of passengers had a harried time, as the trains they were travelling were virtually hijacked by students appearing for the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) on Sunday.The "hijacked" trains were the Jharkhand Swarnjayanti Superfast Express (12817) and Rourkela-Jammu Tawi Express (18601) among several other local trains. "I have never travelled like this. The students have captured the reserved compartments as if it is a general one," said Manpreet Kaur, a Delhi-bound passenger. Students captured almost all reserved bogies of the Jharkhand Swarnjayanti. On an average, each coach was crammed with around 200 students against the normal capacity of 72.AIEEE examinations were held at 31 centres that were spread across Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro in which 27,000 aspirants participated. Around 40% there examinees had come Koderma, Dhanbad, Daltonganj, Barkakana, Muri, Patratu, Gaya and other neighbouring districts of Bihar.Railway officials also admitted the unprecedented ush. "All the trains were... Read more...
overcrowded and passengers had to face some problems," said Ranchi divisional railway manager G Malaya.As huge queues were seen outside ticket counters, many students travelled without tickets also. "I don't have to travel a long distance. I think ticket is not an issue," said a student, who had come from Barkakana. Many Bihar-bound students, who took connecting trains in the evening, also did the same.Several students also forced their ways into AC-III compartments. Though passengers forced some of them off the compartment, a few managed to travel in the air-conditioned ones as the temperature hovered around 40 degrees Celsius.Unlike other railways (like Eastern Railway), no special arrangements were made by the Ranchi or Dhanbad divisions of South Eastern Railway for the AIEEE examinees. "There is a huge summer rush these days. Commissioning special trains in summer rush is difficult. We do not have a surplus of trains," said Malaya.Even as passengers continued to suffer, the railways, however, did not run any inspection drive to check the nuisance. "They (students) are our future and ultimately where will they go? We should provide room for them," said Ranchi senior divisional commercial manager K S Mukherjee.However, South Eastern Railway will run a special Hatia-Yesvantpur (08047) for Bangalore to help the southern state-bound students for Karnataka Common Entrance Test on May 6. Malaya said the train would comprise 15 coaches of which 10 will be sleeper coaches, two AC-III and the rest two will be for cargo. Thousands of students from Ranchi take up engineering entrance examination in Bangalore. The train will leave here on May 3 and return on May 6.