BENGALURU: Tasked with dispatching 25 lakh letters on behalf of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to beneficiary farmers within a week, the Museum Road branch of Bengaluru postal department is buzzing with activity since Thursday. Employees have been putting letters into envelopes, stamping them and sorting them area-wise, to meet the deadline of March 5 fixed by the government.
The single-page letter addressed to each farmer explains the chief minister’s scheme announced for them. In his first budget on July 5, 2018, the CM had announced waiver of loans worth Rs 34,000 crore, which was subsequently raised to Rs 45,000 crore, as the total loan amount borrowed by farmers from nationalised banks. The move is expected to benefit 44.89 lakh farmers.
Colonel Arvind Varma, Post Master General, Bengaluru Region, said that top priority was being accorded to completing the task in time.“A total of 80 staffers, including outsourced staff, are working round-the-clock in two shifts to ensure the deadline is met. We have decided to carry out all the work at Museum Road branch and allotted a separate space for the work,” he said.
This is the second time the Bengaluru postal department is being utilised to carry out such a large-scale venture: the last time was in the last week of December, when 65 lakh health insurance cards were dispatched for the poor in the state, under the Prime Minister’s Bharat Jan-Arogya Yojana scheme.
This order will be a shot-in-the-arm for the revenue of Bengaluru region too. “The department will be paid Rs 5 for each of the letters sent, apart from another 50 paise per letter for inserting it into the envelope. We are doing it since they requested us,” Colonel Varma said.
“The state government also wanted us to print the letters for them, but we couldn’t comply with that request as it is out of our domain,” he added. Asked how much of the task was complete, the PMG said the letters for dispatch had been arriving by the lakhs each day, and related work was being carried out.