The shortage is due to insufficient supply from the India Security Press in Nashik and Hyderabad
Customers who make regular visits to post offices to purchase postcards or stamps return disappointed as there is not sufficient stock in the city.
Several postal customers, like philatelist M. Sampathkumar, complain of a severe shortage of postcards and stamps of various denominations, from 25 paise to Rs. 5, over the past two months.
Residents of Adambakkam say they sometimes send letters by courier or opt for electronic franking usually meant for bulk dispatch of letters.
V. Ramarao, a resident of Puliyambedu, says postcards are still used to send communication about family functions. Several religious institutions and associations too find postcards an economical means to convey information.
Postal agents and stamp vendors say organisations that send periodicals and magazines through book post are affected because of shortage of 25-paise stamps.
Some post offices ask customers to purchase stamps in available denominations, sometimes of higher value, to post letters.
Officials of the postal department say the shortage is due to insufficient supply from India Security Press, located in Nashik and Hyderabad, which manufactures materials for the department.
Mervin Alexander, postmaster general (Chennai city region) says the Tamil Nadu circle requires 78 lakh postcards every three months. Chennai region accounts for about 40 per cent of this.
“We had placed an annual indent for 3.39 crore postcards for the State. We have, so far, received only 50 per cent of the requirement,” he says.
The department recently received 25 lakh pieces of stamps which will be distributed to post offices. “We have taken up the issue with the headquarters and expect the shortage to ease in a few weeks,” he says.