Major re-organisation of post offices on

T. Ramakrishnan

Of total 300 offices, 150 have been computerised: Postmaster-General

CHENNAI: Till recently, Medavakkam, a growing southern suburb of Chennai, had a part-time post office. On February 1, in a low-profile event, the Postal department inaugurated a full-fledged post office there. Apart from the sale of postal articles, the upgraded office handles saving bank operations, small savings schemes and any other functions assigned. Shortly, it will become a delivery post office.

On the same day, the department opened a post office in Oggiyam Thoraipakkam, an upcoming locality off Old Mamallapuram Road (OMR) that has been witnessing a boom in real estate sector. The authorities have assigned a PIN code (600 097) to the locality and made the office a delivery post office. This means that the delivery of postal articles is effected from there with a PIN code allotted to the area. [In and around Chennai, there are 300 post offices, of which 120 are delivery offices and the rest no-delivery offices.]

More changes are to happen. Not just in Medavakkam or Oggiyam Thoraipakkam but also in other suburban areas, says T. Paneerselvam, Postmaster-General (Chennai Region).

Over concentration

The department is now embarking on a major re-organisation of its post offices in and around the city. At present, there is over concentration of post offices in some areas. For instance, in and around Royapuram, there are seven offices. But, there is inadequacy in services in areas such as Porur. There is greater need for expanding and strengthening operations in four regions OMR, Velacherry-Tambaram, Tambaram-Chengalpattu and Koyambedu-Porur-Poonamallee.

In recent months, new post offices were opened on TIDEL Park premises and in Hasthinapuram and Valasaravakkam. New offices will be set up in Pallikaranai and on MEPZ premises soon. While delivery operations and counter services are to be augmented in Porur, additional staff will be posted in Poonamallee. In Koyambedu where the department is having its land, the construction of an office building will be taken up in the coming financial year. In Orapakkam, the department plans to upgrade its part-time office into a sub-post office and in Maraimalai Nagar, it has decided to construct a building for its office.

As for the complaint from a consumer activist that a post office in Pattabiram, on the western outskirts of the city, was shifted from one building to another suddenly, the official says that it was in response to the public demand that the department decided to shift its office, after adopting a due process. He also acknowledges the importance of improving its public communication system.

Of the total 300 offices, 150 have been computerised. Fifty more will be covered this year.

VAO forms

Conscious of easy accessibility of post offices, the State Government this time decided to make available the sale of application forms for the post of village administrative officers only through the postal network. All over the State, nine lakh application forms were sold. Till Friday (the last day for submission of filled forms), the Anna Road Head Post office delivered to the Tamil Nadu Public Services Commission two lakh forms through registered post and five lakh through Speed Post. The mode of delivery was left to the choice of applicants, says Mr. Paneerselvam.