Post offices in Eastern districts struggle to exist

- POST REPORT, Biratnagar

Jun 8, 2014-

Gone are those days when post offices served as the only means to provide information and communicate with people. Now the oldest form of communication is struggling to compete with latest information technologies like internet, courier services and telephones, as post offices in the eastern districts are struggling to exist.

The flow of people visiting the District Post Office (DPO) in Okhaldhunga for the services is low, said DPO Chief Ganeshram Pokharel, adding that the office receives 40 government documents and personal letters daily through postal means, against 300 in the past.

“The office, nowadays, mostly receives only government documents through postal service,” said post man Dilip Rajbhandari, adding that money order service has been shut since banks and money transfers have had access to the villagers. He said equipments like computers and printers provided to the office in order to deliver timely and affordable service are yet to come in use citing electricity shortage.

There are 11 area and 44 additional post offices in the district. Out of total 91 quotas in the DPO, the post of an assistant computer operator and that of 15 post men along with five second class non-gazetted officers are vacant.

Postman Dev Narayan Bhagat, who has been working in the DPO in Siraha for the past 28 years, said most of the materials the office receives are government documents these days.

He attributed to the rapid development of latest information technologies for the situation.

The DPO is providing services like saving account, general and registered letters, money order, telecentre and express courier at present. According to the DPO, it receives 1,000 personal letters and government documents on a daily basis.

There is a regional post office (RPO), 15 district post offices, 205 area post offices and 698 additional post offices in eastern districts, RPO data states.

There is a total of 2,206 government employees and 1,382 people working on contract basis. Director of RPO Dagendra Prasad Parajuli said the office receives up to 200 registered letters and 1,500 general letters on a daily basis, which is half the figure of some 20 years ago.

“The flow of greeting letters during festivals used to highest in the past,” he said, adding that the RPO still sells postal tickets worth Rs 5.5 million in a year.

(With inputs from Dilliram Khatiwada in Udayapur, Lilaballav Ghimire in Biratnagar, Kumbharaj Rai in Okhaldhunga and Bharat Jarghamagar in Siraha)

Published: 09-06-2014 08:42

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