Over 100 police constables who aspired to become police sub-inspectors (PSI) lost their opportunity as they could not make it to the exam centers after three coaches derailed at Matunga late on Friday night making the train timetable go haywire.
Some of them even reached the centres minutes after the permissible time, however, they were not allowed citing to the rules. "The instructions are clear, the aspirants have been asked to be present at the centres one and half hour before the exam and no one will be allowed to enter exam halls after half an hour before the exams," said Sunil Awatade joint secretery of Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC).
A police constable from Quick Response Team (QRT) who did not wish to be named said, "I left house at 7.45 in the morning and boarded the train from Mulund station at 8.10 am however my train got stuck between Vikhroli and Ghatkopar. Finally, I decided to leave the train and walked upto Ghatkopar from there I came to Sion by an autorickshaw and took a lift from a biker who dropped me at Matunga. I reached at 10.34 am, just four minutes late however they did not allow me the entry."
He even tried calling police control and his superiors even requested for allowing them due to train issue, but to no avail.
A woman police constable from Thane police too got stuck in the train. A resident of Wada left home early in the morning however between Vikhroli and Ghatkopar her train got stuck as well leaving her with no option but to walk along the track until she could get out on the road and take roadways to reach the exam centre in Byculla. She reached minutes after the exam was started at 11 am, however, she was now allowed.
This was my last chance as next year I won't be eligible due to my age. I took leave for the exam, studied hard only to lose my chance due to train chaos, she said on the request of anonymity.
For some this could be the last chance to become PSI as this is the penultimate exam for departmental direct with last to be held in 2023. There is also an age bar for the candidates, for open candidates, the age limit is 35 years while for those from caste the age bar is of 40 years.
The departmental direct exam was conducted after gap of few years and over 27,000 police constables across the state had applied for it. Of them, 8,000 were from Mumbai alone. In Mumbai, the exam took place in 21 centres however many who took the train to reach suffered badly after the train timetable of Central Railway was thrown off due to the accident.