HUBBALLI: South Western Railway (SWR) Hubballi is said to be used an engine of a passengers‘ train to push a goods train, whose engine was failed at Mugad in midnight of Saturday.
It‘s said that as engine of Train 16590 , which was involving about 3,000 youths attending a competitive examination in Bengaluru, had to push heavy goods train from rear end upto Hubballi, i.e about 30 kms, it took about 2.30 hours and returned to Express train by 3.20am. Following the delay, candidates missed out their examinations and protested at Railway office on Sunday morning.

Candidates were travelling in the train to attend exam for the post of constable at District Armed Reserve police force in Bengaluru.

Deepak Kasturi, a youth from Chikkodi, who was one among exam candidates told TOI that the train was stopped at Kambarganvi by 11.45pm. “We thought there must be crossing or some other technical reason. After waiting for an hour we observed that our train was left without engine. When we searched for guard, TTEs or any railway personnel, none was available to say why train is stopped for so long time that is also in the night time at a deserted station. Finally an engine arrived at 3.20am and started from there by 3.30am. We reached Hubballi by 6am and realised that we cannot reach Bengaluru before 2pm while our exams are scheduled at 10am. We demanded some alternative arrangements to reach Bengaluru by 9am but no officer attended us. Then we rushed to DRM office demanding justice” he alleged.

Sachin Khot, 27, of Athani, said that he had joined coaching 6 months ago and had spent Rs 40,000 to attend this exam. `This my last year of age to attend test for post of constable and now my future is in dark‘ he wept out.

Ajith, another candidate, said that it was like literally manhandle by SWR. `Officials themselves said that goods train was moving in same direction towards Hubballi and our train was behind that goods train. If they had sent an engine from Hubballi, it could have reached in 20 minutes and then our tran could have run as usually. But they used engine of our train and instructed pilot to push goods train from rear end till Dharwad and it took time of 2.30 hours” he complained.

Mahendra Singhi, former memmer, Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, who landed in Hubballi station in the morning and took part in candidates protest. `As soon as we came to know the situation, we alerted railway officials, MP Pralhad Joshi, MLA Prasad Abbayya in this regard. It seems railway officials had taken for granted an express train, which had weekend rush. If they have sent an engine from Hubballi, Rani Chennamma express could have reached Bengaluru by 8am on Sunday. Such negligence should not be happened in future‘ he commented.

MLA Prasad Abbayya rushed to spot and demanded a letter on train delay from Railway officials. He spoke to Chief Minister Kumarwswamy over the mobile phone and requested re-exam for these candidates. When he announced CM‘s assurance, candidates withdrawn their agitation.
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