Kannur: The Kerala Postal Department has decided to stop relying on trains for various postal services. This would be phased out slowly.
At present, the department has bogies on different trains, which are taken on lease. The department has been relying on these bogies for sending items including speed post bags, examination papers, answer sheets and materials for ballot voting during elections.
As a first step, the department will stop postal bogies in Mangalore Express -16347 (Trivandrum Central to Mangalore Central) Trivandrum Express -16348 (Mangalore Cntl to Trivandrum Cntl ).
Gradually, instead of trains, the department will rely on Road Transport Network (RTN) mechanism for the transport of the postal items.
However, the decision has raised eyebrows of representatives in various postal employees unions. Demanding a re-examination, some have already sent a letter to post master general.
According to the unions, the move will delay the timely delivery of postal items. The traffic congestion is high on roads and the decision may turn counterproductive. They also alleged that the decision in turn will give free ride to private courier service providers.
Meanwhile, the department has cited various reasons for the decision. The lack of poor facilities in stations and more number of trains having postal bogies are some of them.
It is also in talks with Railways to launch a parcel distribution network.