Sending letters may be passé.
But postmen are still depended on for bringing that odd greeting card or letter from grandparents, a job-interview letter or a money order.
In a bid to improve quality of services and popularise them, the postal department will soon make the details of postmen available online. There will also be information on the localities covered by individual postmen in Chennai.
The ‘Know your Postman’ concept was developed to build bridges between customers and postmen. Postmen are mostly anonymous and this measure is aimed at ensuring better security for residents in urban areas.
At present, details of postmen attached to the Anna Road head post office and the general post office on Rajaji Salai have been uploaded on www.chennaipost.gov.in.
Officials of the Chennai city circle said residents may log on to the website and check the details of postmen who deliver in their area.
Information on nearly 2,300 postmen, postwomen and gram dak sevaks, who are part-time staff members attached to 110 post offices in the city and suburbs, would be made available online in three months.
Welcoming the initiative of the postal department, residents said contact numbers of postal staff who deliver letters in an area regularly may also be provided for better coordination.
S. Seetha, a resident of Ambattur, said this measure would benefit people living in individual houses in the suburbs. The department could also include time of visit or the contact number of post offices, she said.
Officials of the postal department said this measure would enable them to keep tabs on those who engage outsiders to do their work.
Mervin Alexander, postmaster general (Chennai city region) said the details of the postmen would also be available at information kiosks in the post offices.
“We are also training postal staff to be more customer friendly and develop their soft skills. Postwomen contribute to nearly 10-20 per cent of the total strength of mail delivery staff,” he said.
On the number of vacancies, he said, there were about 400 vacant posts in city alone. As of now, part-time workers are engaged to share the workload of the postmen.
The department is keen on recruiting more postmen on the outskirts.
A helpline may be provided for residents to complain about erring postmen.
A staff member in Kodambakam post office was suspended recently for taking bribes from senior citizens to deliver their old-age pension on time.