Email and social media have signed the death warrant of postal services , but the communications and IT ministry has scripted the resurgence of Speed Post, postal banking and parcel services using the very same social media networks.
Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has taken to Facebook and Twitter in a big way to speed up postal services, notorious till some years ago for their snail-paced delivery. He and his IT team will look into grievances of customers and take immediate steps to get the post or parcel delivered to the recipient.
A young man studying in DELHI had applied for the Bihar civil services examination. When he did not get an acknowledgement of his application, he inquired from the post office which informed him that the application had wrongly been delivered to Lucknow University instead of Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) in Patna.
He sent a tweet to the minister's handle with just 48 hours to go for the deadline for submission of application forms. " India Post officers in Patna were alerted about the urgency. The form was delivered to BPSC hours before the deadline," Prasad told TOI.
A newspaper report about a 95-year-old woman making the rounds of a post office to redeem her Kisan Vikas Patra made the minister direct officials to visit her in the village with the redemption money. The woman was surprised to find officials with flowers and money at her doorstep.
There are many such stories in the turnaround of India Post. "We can say with confidence now that Speed Post and parcel services will deliver at any place in India within four days of the item booked with post offices. It can give private courier services a run for their money, being equally efficient and reliable. That is the reason Speed Post has been rated best by the Comptroller and Auditor General," Prasad said.
The minister's claim about India Post's turnaround in the last two years is matched by statistics. Speed Post revenue has increased from Rs 1,372 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 1,600 crore in 2015-16. Parcel revenue registered 80 per cent increase in the last two years from Rs 118 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 310 crore in 2015-16. India Post delivers around 40,000 e-commerce parcels every day.