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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Sub:       Secretary (P)'s meeting with Postal JCA on 27.06.2011,29.06.2011, 30.06.2011 & 01.07.2011 –item no. 1 dealing with Mail Network Optimization Project-Constitution of Committee.
 Ref:        Directorate letter No. 28-4/2011-D dated   -8-2011 and  16 .08.2011.
No.JCA/AGTN/2011                                                                                                    Dated:  29th August, 2011
                With reference to your above cited letters the following note is submitted.
                The following is the note submitted by our Federation regarding the issues related to MNOP to be discussed in the Committee constituted by the Directorate as a fall out of the negotiations held on June-July, 2011:
The Department has not supplied the original recommendations of the consultancy agency McKinsey on the issue of changes warranted from the existing system of sorting and mail conveyance done by RMS and the rationale behind the changes.
This Federation having access to some RTI materials on related issues is of the opinion that the Postal Board, which is the top policy making body of administration, has not  debated in any Board meeting about the recommendations of McKinsey and not reached any consensus decision on their implementation. We learn that such a serious issue involving structural changes of RMS was directly placed in a meeting of Circle Heads where some of the Board Members were also present. The Board Members would not have the opportunity to open their minds on many issues in such a meeting because of the presence of many other officers due to protocol etc.  Even all the Chief PMsG was not apparently participated in that meeting. A meeting of Postal Board would have been the place for the Postal Board Members to discuss their views. We therefore apprehend that the decision taken about implementation of McKinsey recommendations on MNOP was autocratic without backed by the Postal Board decisions to that effect. If our above contention is wrong then this Federation may kindly be supplied with the materials substantiating the claim of the Department.
                This Federation also further learns that the MNOP project may lead to a further erosion of traffic including speed post articles in the long run, if not with immediate effect for the reason that the new system is not scientifically analysed for its success. The Staff Side is not supplied with any material by the Department about the results obtained by the Department through any Pilot Project undertaken on the lines of MNOP. With our field level observations, we can cite the under-mentioned discrepancies or draw backs in MNOP:
[a]            Areas involving Metro and Non-Metro areas: Transmission of speed post articles from Metro to Non-Metro areas  as well as Non-Metro areas to Metro Cities suffer additional delay because of unwarranted additional handling by the Hubs. For example, a Speed Post Article posted in New Delhi GPO and meant for delivery at Dindigul HPO [Tamilnadu] was earlier sent to Palam APTMO and then to Chennai APTMO. Chennai APTMO closed the bag directly to Dindigul HPO. Similarly a speed post letter posted at Dindigul HPO and intended for delivery at New Delhi HPO was sent to Dindigul RMS, which closed it to Chennai AP TMO. Chennai APTMO closed it to Palem APTMO, which sent it to New Delhi GPO. In the whole process it was normally expected to be delivered on D+2 basis. Now with the introduction of Hub System, the same article is expected to pass through the Hubs causing the process to be D+3 and some times D+4. We find that Metro to Non-Metro and Non-Metro to Metro are facing additional delay. This will slowly but surely lead to loss of customers, even though the fall in traffic is not immediate. (Details of Circle wise cases will be submitted separately)
[b]            Areas involving Intra-circle areas: The study by us has led to the conclusion that the MNOP's weak link is the intra-circle operations. The conditions preventing L2 Offices close bags directly to different Offices except to those other L2 Offices under the same L1 jurisdiction; as well as the condition that the L1 Hubs will close letters only to other L1 Hubs and not to any L2 Offices other than those L2 offices under its own jurisdiction is causing unnecessary back routing. This has increased the time of transmission and causing one day additional delay in delivery at the least, if not more. The Department knows very well that more than 75% letters are meant for other districts and the closing of bags only through L1 Hub will only cause delay in transmission and delivery.
[c]            Our experience at Hyderabad and Bangalore Cities, where certain experimentations were made by the Department despite our stiff resistance, clearly show that the MNOP was a failure. In fact no one can say as to how much volume of mails is in deposit and from which date the bags are lying unopened. The Administration was forced to open temporary sorting offices to clear the accumulated mails. In addition to that move, thousands of bags are being dumped to major DSOs like Vijayawada etc by engaging private transportation incurring huge and wasteful expenditure as freight charges because there are no spaces available in the Sections in Hyderabad. We find no accountability at all.
[d]            The Department is aware that in the past also certain measures of centralization of mails was undertaken but after experimenting failures reverted back to DSO system. Now once again going back to Regional Hubs in the name of MNOP is not going to improve the efficiency at all levels. May be Metro to Metro area may witness some improvement but even there some problems are witnessed.(List will be submitted separately)
[e]            The existing system permits closing of direct bags by any DSO at times of bulk booking to some addressees like Recruitment of Jobs or Application for Medical or Engineering College admission etc. Recruitment Boards will get thousands and thousands of registered or speed post articles. The new system under MNOP involves unnecessary extra handling involving delay in delivery. This is totally unscientific. The motto has to be quicker and efficient delivery at the earliest and not following some rigid routes prescribed by MNOP.
[f]             Areas involving delivery within the same Metro City also not above board. For example hundreds of speed Post articles posted in various Post Offices of Metro Cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune etc is not being delivered to addresses in the same Metro Cities within the same day. If Speed Post Articles booked in Business Post Centres in Metro Cities can be delivered on the same day and speed post articles booked at Post Offices cannot be delivered like that, then there is only one reason for that. The BPCs are closing direct bags and Post Offices are routing through Hubs. This is to show that closing direct bag system is more efficient than routing through blindly to Hubs.
[g]            Even selection of L1 offices are inadequate and unscientifically kept very limited in number in many circles. More number of revenue districts is brought under a single L1 Hub that causes delay inevitably due to unnecessary back routings through Hubs.
[h]            There is a tendency seen at the time of discussions in June-July that the department should care more for metro to metro mails only since that constitutes more than 70%. This is a disturbing trend. Unlike profit motive Couriers, India Post is wedded to Universal Service Obligations that insists transmission of letter mail communication at affordable cost to poor people living everywhere. The recent approach of the Administration shows a bias in favour of metro customers and ignores or sidelines the customers in non-metro areas. This type of discrimination cannot be shown by the DoP and it can be seen that MNOP encourages this type of discrimination between the urban and rural customers.
4.             The staff side was told during June-July negotiations that the existing Bulk Mail Centres [BMCs] and Business Post Centres [BPCs] will be fully brought under RMS. This Federation further wants to elicit as to how this fusion is being planned? Whether the mails handled by these BMCs and BPCs will go directly to L1 or will go to L2 according to the places? Moreover we want to know as to how the pre-mailing work being carried out in BPCs will be looked after? At present the contractorised workers are being used to do all such work in BPCs and BMCs and what will happen to the pre-mailing work in particular in future? If pre-mailing is given up it may result in loss of customers and steep reduction of traffic.
5.             The Staff Side was already assured during the June-July discussions that all the Speed Post Hubs will function only under the control of RMS and any existing speed post Hub under the control of the SSPOs will be transferred to RMS Control. However, we find that no action in this direction to bring all Speed Post Hubs under the RMS control has been initiated.
6.             This Federation is also apprehensive that consequent on introduction of MNOP, the Department will slowly violate the understanding given out during June-July discussions to the staff side as in the past. There was an assurance that no L2 Office will be closed but all existing RMS Sorting Offices either L1 or L2 will be in existence. But there is a wide spread apprehension that once the L1 and L2 system is entrenched, then slowly the L2 offices will be closed down one by one by resorting to dubious methodology of diverting the mails to L1 instead of L2 offices. Such method was used in some places to bring down the traffic below 10,000 deliberately to facilitate closing of those offices in the past to circumvent the agreement reached by the Department with the Staff Side.
7.             This Federation is aware of the modus operandi of McKinsey through our international experience. In many industries McKinsey recommendations resulted in large scale outsourcing etc. Similarly the MNOP for RMS and similar such proposal for Delivery Hubs etc in the Postal Side will result in destruction of RMS offices in particular. Large scale closure or merger of offices may result in large scale surplus of RMS staff causing hardships to them. This Federation therefore wants to know the reaction of the Department as to whether it is considering our earlier understanding of keeping 10,000 volume of mails offices in-tact is revisited with a revised target of 5000 mail volume and that only those offices where the reduction will be below 5000, the men and materials will be merged with the nearest RMS office and under no condition the men and material of RMS will be shifted to Post Offices. The approach of the Department to this question will show light on the nature of actual recommendations of McKinsey, which is not made available to the staff side so far.
8.             This Federation therefore suggests that the staff side may be taken into confidence before going ahead with the disastrous M.N.O.P. experiment and till such time the whole sale operationalization of Hub System be kept in abeyance.
Thanking you
Yours faithfully,
              (M. Krishnan)
 Secretary General

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