It may not be third time lucky for Kankanady Post Office, which though has been operational in their new building for more than seven months, is still considered “incomplete” because there was no “formal dedication”.

From a smaller office, the Post office moved in to a sprawling, modern set-up in Nandigudda in November. News ran abound through the post office that the token red ribbon will be cut next, though most officials are flummoxed that there is a need for a formal inauguration.

Spanning an area from Naguri to Kodialbail, and Mallikatte to Bajal, the 575 003 code post office is a major link in postal coverage in the city. According to officials at the post office, more than 4,000 mails and letters are handled by 20 postmen in the office daily.

“We have no idea why they want to inaugurate it now; doesn’t make any sense to us. It is only nominal to satisfy some protocol. Higher officials told us a few days ago that we have to get prepared for an inauguration on any day between 26 and 28,” said an official at the Post Office.

This is, however, the third time that the department is trying to “throw open” the building. Chandrashekhar Kakuman, in-charge Senior Superintendent of Posts, Mangalore, said the first two attempts were scuttled by the declaration of the model code of conduct preceding the Urban Local Body elections and the State Legislative Assembly elections, the third attempt this time may be washed away by the rains.

“There is no way we can conduct any sort of function in the heavy rain,” he said.

When asked why an inauguration would be necessary when public awareness of the new post office was high anyway, Mr. Kakuman said: “It is protocol that after a new building is complete, it is first certified as being fit to occupy and then dedicated to the nation.”

The protocol further complicates the process. The department has to invite the Minister for Communications and Technology, and if the Minister is not available, he or she has to approve inauguration by an official on or above the cadre of Post Master General.

The department here has received no confirmation so far. “Nothing has been confirmed yet… but we want to get over with,” said Mr. Kakuman.

However, the decision to shift in before the formal inauguration turned out to be prudent. The department pays a rent of Rs. 20,000 for the old building, and thus far, has saved Rs. 1.4 lakh, he said.

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