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Building induces fear

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Located inside a dilapidated building, the post office at Anna Nagar Western Extension has become unsafe. T. MADHAVAN reports

Poor condition of Anna Nagar West Extension Post Office on School Road.
Poor condition of Anna Nagar West Extension Post Office on School Road.

If the brooding look of the building is not scary enough, the inside of this Post Office on School Road, Anna Nagar Western Extension, is. It drives visitors to make a hasty exit. Located on the first floor of a shopping complex constructed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, the gaping cracks on the wall suggest that the building may collapse any time if restoration is not carried out at the earliest.

“The whole building is in a pitiable condition. The side walls and the portion of roof inside the post office have developed major cracks. The treasury room, which has important documents, is in an equally bad state. The entire building within which the post office is operating is unsafe,” said N. Srinivasan of Vasantham Colony.

That the post office is located on the first floor is also a drawback for many.

“The building should be renovated and the post office moved to the ground floor for easy access.” added Mr. Srinivasan, who accompanied his grandmother.

The next nearest post office is one-and-a-half kilometre away on Second Avenue Road.

Meanwhile, there are talks of moving the post office to a vacant site on Park Road. Secretary of Anna Nagar Welfare Association, V. Nagasundaram says, “Until such measure is taken, temporary renovation and repair work should be carried out by TNHB to avoid any untoward incident.”

Acknowledging the improvement in services by the Department of Post, A. Hariharan of Anna Nagar West says a lot need to be done in terms of providing infrastructure and facilities to both staff and users.

In 2011, the Federation of Chennai United Societal Services office-bearers met officials of the department at Post Master General's office and gave a representation for the construction of a post office on the vacant plot at Park Road. They said that they had convinced the postal authorities that there was an urgent need for the same.

A resident from Officers' Colony said that the vacant site was allotted to the Department of Posts by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board long time ago. There were attempts to grab the nearby plot, which was retrieved by the TNHB following a legal battle.

“Officials in the Department of Posts are keen to enhance their services. But, if plots such as the one on Park Road are not used, they can be grabbed by land-sharks. It would be difficult to retrieve them,” she added.

Like many others, she too wants construction of the new post office to begin at the earliest.

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