SURAT: It’s not unusual if sometimes a Diwali card is received after a few months and a letter by an old mother from a remote village of Madhya Pradesh to her son in Surat is never delivered. These days with private couriers delivering your valuable documents at your door step within 24 hours in cities, the role of postal department seems to be diminishing, though the reality is different. Even today more than 80 per cent of mail delivery and related work is done by postal department in rural areas.
“Looking at the expansion of the city, we need additional post offices,” said member of Parliament Darshana Jardosh, who is also a member of information and technology board of Union government. The city limits have expanded after eight nagarpalikas and 27 gram panchayats were brought under Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC). The population in the city has crossed 40 lakh.”
“Forget computerisation, records in some of the post offices in the city are eaten up by bugs. The staff has to work from under a temporary tent like roof,” said a resident of Gopipura area Rajula Patel.
The plasters from walls of the rooms of post office here have fallen and the fans don’t work. This is the situation of Sagrampura post office in the city. “We have 70 post offices in Surat city and district. Of these, 54 are in the city and we have demanded 10 more at Amroli, Karanj, Sarthana, Ghod Dod Road, Piplod, Anand Mahal Road, Adajan, Katargam, Puna Kumbahriya and Jahangirpura,” said Jardosh adding, “We have also demanded immediate filling up of vacancies in the department. Surat should have separate division of its own. How can it be governed from Vadodara?”
Of the 54 city post offices, only two are run from the buildings owned by postal department. The rest are functioning from rented premises.
Arvind Joshi, post master general, Baroda region under which Surat falls, told TOI, “We have asked for land from SMC and the state government. However, we have not been allotted any land so far. We know we are short of staff, but unless a decision is taken at the Centre level, we can’t do anything.”
Vacant positions in Surat postal department at present
Cadre Staff Staff at present Vacancy Demand
Postal assistant 401 360 41 150
Post man 446 387 59 200
Group D 112 091 21 100