It has resulted in panic buying by dealers, black marketeers
Acute scarcity of stamps, envelopes and inland letters at post offices and sub-post offices has crippled postal service across the State.
The scarcity was felt at the post offices for the past one month but the climax of the problem was felt on Tuesday, with post offices totally running out of stock.
Enquiry with the post offices and sub-post offices in the city revealed that it all started with the scarcity of stamps in the denomination of Rs.5 and Rs.4, although the stamps in the lower denomination of Rs. 2, Re. 1 were available abundantly in the first week of this month.
“We managed with the lower denomination stamps, catering to the needs of the customers,” say postal officials at sub-post offices in Ponnagar in the city.
An official at the office of the Post Master General, Tiruchi Region, said that the post offices got the stamps and stationery from Nasik and Hyderabad respectively. The scarcity of stamps has resulted in panic buying by retail dealers and black marketeers for exploiting the situation.
Steps had been taken to ease the situation and ensure availability of stamps of all denomination. Presently, stamps of higher denomination from Rs.10, Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 besides revenue stamps were available.
Supply would be restored in a few days and the authorities in Chennai had been alerted. Stamp scarcity was felt all over 1.50 lakh post offices and sub-post offices in the State, the source said.
Customers had to run from pillar-to-post, purchasing stamps wherever available.
“We have to run from Palakkarai or Town Hall or Senthannerpuram to despatch our letters,” says Sagaya Baskar, employed in a private concern who frequents to post office daily.
Although the post offices managed to tide over the crisis by franking, it benefited only bulk despatch of tapals.
“Post offices refused franking for articles (envelops) less than 100,” say the customers.