Inadequate facilities coupled with acute staff crunch, has resulted in thousands of undelivered parcels piling up at the only Foreign Post Office (FPO) of the state, at Chittoor Road here, for the past two months.
According to sources in the postal department, around 300 foreign parcels reach the foreign post office everyday, including those to be delivered to other countries, “Only around 75 parcels are being delivered each day,” they said.
The parcels usually contain items like gold, medicines, electronic goods and the like.The parcels are first unpacked, then examined, repacked and finally dispatched to the destinations by the Postal and the Customs staff.
“The parcels that arrive at the FPO are being managed by two officials belonging to the Postal Department and the Customs Department. Their services are not sufficient to manage the parcels that arrive in bulk on a day-to-day basis,” they said. The situation becomes grave when there is a delay in delivering the parcels containing medicines, they added.
Further, only those parcels that are in small size come under the scanner.
“There are also parcels that weigh around 95 kg. As the department is facing staff crunch, such parcels, which may need meticulous scrutiny, are left unattended,” they said.The parcels mainly arrive from countries like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore. Outbound parcels are despatched to destinations like the US, Korea, Canada and Australia.
Another issue hampering the smooth despatch of the parcels is the unavailability of van drivers for the mail motor service (MMS).
To make things worse, the postal department has decided to cut down around 17,000 posts across the country.“This decision has come at a time when more employees are required at the Postal Department,” he said. Senior Superintendent of Post Offices Joseph Rahul refused to comment on the issue. “I choose not to comment on the issue,” he said.