Service launched at Munnar post office on Saturday

Rail passengers will now be able to book tickets to any destination in the country’s railway network from post offices in Kerala.

On Saturday, the Munnar post office became the first in the State to install the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) of Railways and issue tickets to passengers. “All facilities, including Tatkal, available to the public at the computerised reservation centres of Railways will be available from the PRS installed at the Munnar post office,” Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Rajesh Agrawal told The Hindu.

As the PRS centres of Railways work on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the post office in Munnar also functioned today to issue tickets. “The response is encouraging and it is a breakthrough. The facility will come in handy for tourists and local residents alike,” he said.

The facility had been introduced under a scheme worked out by Railways that aimed at providing train tickets at the doorstep to the common man and ‘Project Arrow’ of the Department of Posts to transform the existing India Post infrastructure.

For this, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed between Indian Railways and India Post. Railways had provided equipment and training to the employees in the post offices to operate the PRS. The Postal Department had to make available adequate space in post offices and manpower to man the counters. The MoU, signed in 2007 and valid for five years, was extended for another five years.

“It is for the Postal Department to fix the timings. If it is extended to 8 p.m. in a tourist place like Munnar, it will be of immense help to the visitors coming from across the country and abroad. Talks are on with the department to introduce the facility in other post offices in the State,” he said. The post office in Munnar was close to the rail line built in 1902 and operated between Munnar and Top Station to transport tea. In 1908, the monorail was replaced by a gauge light railway. It was completely destroyed by a flood in 1924 and was never rebuilt.