The smooth despatch of mails to different parts of the district is disrupted as around 19 Motor Mail Service (MMS) vehicles are lying unused at the Motor Mail Service of Postal Department at Career Station road.
According to sources, out of 30 MMS vehicles, 19 are not in a working condition and has not yet been condemned. Of the remaining 16, only a few are being used as there is a dearth of drivers.
Though Ernakulam has the largest mail motor service in the state, many areas still do not get mails on time.
“It has been more than five years since the Postal Department appointed drivers to fill the vacancies. Owing to this, most of the vehicles cannot be used. The department has been hiring private vehicles for the purpose,” sources said. They added that there were many instances wherein people, especially in Vypeen, Udyogamandal and Kalamassery areas, do not get mails for many days.
“Since we have a limited number of drivers, any of them taking leave will affect us. The schedule have to be cancelled which affects the distribution of mails,” they said. The sources said it was the postmen and clerks who have to bear the brunt.
Thomas Jacob, superintendent, Railway Mail Service, confirmed that there was lack of drivers to operate the vehicles.
“But that has never affected the distribution of mails. We use private vehicles for it,” he said.However, sources with the Postal Department refuted the claim. “There were days when we had to hire autorickshaws to distribute mails. How can we distribute bulk mails in autorickshaws,” they ask.
They said extra staff had to be put on duty while hiring private vehicles. “If the MMS vehicle is on service, you just have to entrust the driver for the job whereas a employee had to be assigned to oversee the task while assigning a private vehicle,” they said.
Meanwhile, sources said there were attempts to help private agencies by sabotaging the MMS. “Measures have already been taken, though not visibly, to hand over the distribution of mails to private agencies,” they said.