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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Staff crunch, outdated infrastructure affects city's postal service

GURGAON: With staff shortage and increasing competition from private courier services, post offices in Gurgaon are facing a tough time.
Just 193 people not only provide postal services to about two million people but also give postal banking services, popular particularly among migrant laborers, and business mail services.
Five new post offices have been set up in different parts of Gurgaon in last five years. But no new hiring has been done. "Staff from old post offices was transferred to the new ones. Our work efficiency has been affected," said a senior India post employee.
"There is acute shortage of postal staff here. Gurgaon postal division is one of the busiest in the country. We are one of top three profit making postal divisions. Every month we do business of about Rs 3-4 crore. Premium services like speed post, business post, express parcel post, media post and logistics post are popular here," said Jagdish Chander, senior superintendent of Gurgaon division.
The role of postman has changed drastically in recent years. "In Gurgaon, we don't get a post card or inland letter card for months, and post boxes are hardly ever used," said Balbir Singh, a postman. "Most of us are busy with delivering credit cards, debit cards, cheque books, business mails, magazines and premier products," he added.
That's not it. If you thought that e-banking and ATMs are only popular ways of transferring money within the country, visit a nearby post office. Thousands of migrant workers use money remittance services like money order, electronic money order, instant money order etc. They also use various savings schemes offered by India post.
"Even today, if you want to reach a far-flung village, India Post offers much more reliable and economic services than any private courier service. The lower income floating population heavily depends on us. The send money and letters to their relatives in far off villages. Still, there are many villages in remote corners of India where there is no bank. But a post office will always be there," said a senior officer.
There is a need to upgrade postal infrastructures in Gurgaon. "All post offices need to be computerized, buildings are crying for repair. New staff is needed. Being associated with the largest postal network in the world makes us proud, but changing with the time of part of survival and growth," added the officer.

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