Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Railway mail service: Letterboxes back on three trains

In an age where communication is largely digital, and even personal messages seldom exceed 140 characters, the idea of reclining on one's chair and penning one's thoughts on paper can appear quaint, even idyllic. However, postal service is still robust in the country, and in recognition of its enduring importance to the public, letter boxes have been reintroduced on Railway Mail Service (RMS) coaches on three trains.

Discontinued in the 1980s, the sight of letterboxes affixed to the RMS coaches evoked a sense of nostalgia among passengers. Citizens can drop unregistered letters - posts that do not require processing at the post office - in the letterbox and they will be processed en route. They will be delivered to a set of prescribed stations. "Letterboxes have been installed on the RMS coaches of Rani Chennamma Express (train number: 16589 and 16590), Siddaganga Intercity Express (12725 and 12726) and Hubballi-Vijayawada passenger train (56501 and 56502). Posts dropped in the boxes will be processed immediately," superintendent, RMS Hubballi division, SK Murnal told TOI.

Murnal said the services was reintroduced following the orders of the chief postmaster general, Karnataka circle. "We have decided to provide the service on three trains in accordance with the orders of postmaster general, North Karnataka region, Dharwad," he said.

However, the service is limited to few stations. Office supervisor for RMS Hubballi RC Negalur said that those in intermediate stations such as Haveri and Davanagere would not be able to avail of the service. "Those in Dharwad and Hubballi can send letters to Bengaluru, and vice-versa on the Rani Chennamma Express. If letters are addressed to locations in other places, they will be treated as non-RMS assignments and transferred to the postal department," he added.

Pointing out that letters posted in Hubballi, and addressed to Bengaluru, would reach their respective destinations in one day, Negalur added, "People in Guntakal too can use the service on the Vijayawada-Hubballi train to send letters to Gadag and Hubballi. They will be transported to the RMS offices in the respective cities, and delivered to their destinations through the local post office (s)."

Madhu Lokur, a citizen, recalled the days when he used the letterboxes for speedy delivery. "The RMS has taken a good decision to reintroduce this service. People will be able to send letters, applications and invitations at a lower cost. Instead of spending a minimum of Rs 20 on private couriers, we can now do it for Rs 5 or even 50 paise," he added.

Source:-The Times of India

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