Only after the death of two aspirants have the Kolkata Police authorities realised that the Physical Efficiency Test should not be held at the peak of summer without proper back-ups.
Abhishek Pal and Suresh Bhujal were admitted to SSKM hospital on June 6 after they collapsed during the test as the temperature soared to around 40ºC. While Pal died the same day,Bhujal passed away on June 11.
The deaths have finally prompted the Kolkata Police to take several precautionary steps as the Physical Efficiency Test (PET) and Physical Measurement Test (PMT) resumed at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) grounds today. A huge shelter has been put up for the applicants,there are stand-by ambulances and doctors,and enough provision for drinking water, said a senior official on duty.
He also said that authorities have also done away with the afternoon session of the tests. Previously,the tests were being carried out in three shifts,at 7 am,10 am and 1 pm. Now there would be only two shifts in a day – at 7 am and 3.30 pm. Tests which were to be concluded on June 19,would now continue till July 26, he said.
The rescheduling has,however,created a lot of confusion among applicants. Of the three sessions of tests that were supposed to happen on June 7,two are taking place today and one has been rescheduled for tomorrow. This has created a lot of confusion. When I asked these people,they are saying that it was put up on the website but we dont have access to the Internet. I dont know where to spend the night as I wont be able to participate if I have to return now and again come in the morning tomorrow, said Amit Das from Birbhum.
Sabyasachi Mondal,another applicant,said his admit card has a different persons photograph and a different PIN code. No one is being able to tell for sure whether I will be able to take the test today, he said.
Many said the 400m sprinting for girls and 1600 m for boys could have been conducted today as the sweltering heat was no longer there.
The families of the deceased Abhishek Pal and Suresh Bhujal were promised a job for two family members but that has not materialised either. The commissioner of police does not have the power to give a job directly to anyone. It was offered to the families that two family members would be made eligible for taking the test and from there on,they would be selected on merit. Members of both the families have declined the offer, said a senior IPS officer.