Bengaluru: As many as 500 students appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical entrance could not appear in time for the exam owing to a six-hour delay in the Hampi Express-16591, plying from North Karnataka to Bengaluru Students appearing for the NEET exam were required to reports at the centres by 1.30 pm on Sunday. Around 500 students who had taken the Hampi Express to reach Bengaluru were left in the lurch as the train reached its destination at 2.30 pm against the scheduled arrival time of 7 am. The NEET exam is held annually and this year as many as 13 lakh students from across the country are taking the entrance test, conducted by the National Testing Agency Upset with the delay, students sent SOS messages to HRD ministry, requesting that they be allowed to sit in the exam. “@PrakashJavdekar sir we the students who are appearing for neet 2019 from ballari and hubli cities to Bengaluru train number 16591 name Hampi Express. Thus train has to reach bengaluru city at 7 AM still we are in Arsikere (180km ) far away from Bengaluru. (sic),” wrote a student, Sai Srinivas, on Twitter. Taking to Twitter, former chief minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at the central government and the railway ministry for failing to run trains on time. “Mr. @narendramodi, You pat your own back for others' achievements but will you also take the responsibility for your cabinet min' incapabilities. Hundreds of students in Karnataka may not be able to take up NEET because of delay in the train services (sic),” he tweeted. He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the aggrieved students get a chance to write the NEET exam. Meanwhile railway officials clarified that the delay was due to the maintenance work going on in Guntkal in South Central division and that all reserved passengers of train had been intimated by SMS of the diversion and rescheduling on the mobile numbers given at the time of reserving tickets.
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