KOLKATA: Candidates appearing for JEE (Main) examination in West Bengal had a difficult time reaching their test centres on Tuesday morning owing to heavy rain and lack of transport.
The government had asked all state transport utilities to commence bus services from 5 am in view of the exam, but several candidates in North 24 Parganas, Berhampur, Malda and Siliguri claimed that they had to wait for hours, braving downpour, to get a bus to reach their test centres.
Suspension of local train services due to the COVID-19 pandemic added to the woes of the candidates.
"I had to hire a cab to reach the centre at TCS Gitobitan in Salt Lake from Khardah (North 24 Parganas) as no direct bus was available. It would have been easier if the trains plied," Subham Das, one of the candidates, said.
Adequate safety measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the students, a spokesperson at TCS Gitobitan said.
"Candidates were allowed inside after thermal screening. Not more than 12 were accommodated in a room. The entire campus has been sanitised for the purpose," he said.
Several kilometres away, at DPS Ruby Park in south Kolkata, another centre earmarked for JEE (Main) exam, the drill was more or less the same, with students maintaining social distancing norms while entering the hall.
The Bengal government had earlier opposed the Centre's decision to conduct JEE(Main) and NEET exams, contending that students would be exposed to health hazards amid the pandemic.
However, state education minister Partha Chatterjee had on Monday said that he would no longer comment on the matter as the Centre has entrusted the NTA to take necessary measures for the safety of the students.
National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), for admission to medical and dental colleges, is scheduled to be held later this month.