Sunday, October 21, 2012

  1. Post boxes get a new address in Kerala

KOCHI: Snail mail like steam locomotives may have only vintage value. But the postal department, one of the last redoubts of an era when lost-in-transit had life threatening implications, is busy reinventing itself.
Concerned that many of its quaint red post boxes are in an unused and derelict state, the department is planning to relocate boxes with little or no intake of daily mail to areas where they might still serve a purpose.
According to the rationalisation plan, one-third of the over 35,000 post boxes attached to 12,000-odd post offices in the state will be relocated.
"There are boxes which have only one or two letters dropped a day. At the same time in many places residential associations and flat dwellers have been approaching the department to install post boxes. So we are relocating post boxes with less than 10 letters to those areas and it is being done after considering actual number of letters in various boxes," an official said.
Sources in the postal department admitted that in many places people are no longer willing to drop letters in boxes, preferring instead boxes located near main post offices in towns and cities. This is because these boxes are not regularly cleared by postmen.
Moreover, it is a common sight to see advertisement notices stuck all over post boxes at busy junctions while in by-lanes and tucked away streets various political parties and trade unions use the boxes to spread their own messages.
The decision to rationalise post boxes was taken a while back, but post office officials dismiss rumours that there are plans to do away with the system itself.
"No instructions were issued to do away with post boxes where only a few letters are dropped every day. Normally post boxes are kept in the same place even if letter droppings are low because of the change in the character of mail. But sometimes they are relocated," explained Shobha Koshy, chief post master general, Kerala Circle. She added that the department is very scruplous about ensuring that boxes are opened every day and maintained properly.
Source : The Timnes of India

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