KENDRAPARA: The strike by rural postal employees, which entered the ninth day on Wednesday, has come as a boon for private courier companies of the district.As many as 19,726 Grameen Dak Sevaks of 6968 post offices in the State are on strike demanding job regularisation, thereby affecting postal services in rural areas.
With most of the rural population still depending on postal services, the courier firms are cashing in on the situation. In their bid to make a quick buck, the companies are over-charging people to deliver their letters, packets and other goods.
The postal strike has resulted in a huge demand for courier services. “Most of the courier firms are now witnessing a sudden surge in their business due to the strike. So far, our business has registered around 30 per cent growth. It will increase as the strike goes on,” said Ramani Ranjan Das of Dolphin courier company at Kendrapara.
Though post offices have lost importance in urban areas due to Internet and mobile phones, a large number of rural people still depend on postal services. “Many villagers have been affected due to the strike. All the rural post offices have stopped delivery of letters since more than a week. People in villages still write letters and receive ATM and Aadhaar cards besides other important documents from the post offices,” said Ranjan Rout of Patkura.
The business of courier companies is restricted to cities and towns. Due to the strike, villagers are now forced to visit Kendrapara town to send their letters and packets through courier services, said Rout.
Sources said rooms of many post offices are littered with thousands of registered letters, speed posts, parcels and packets as postal services remain paralysed due to the strike.
The postal employees are on an indefinite strike from May 22 demanding fulfilment of demands which include job regularisation and implementation of recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee Report, said secretary of Odisha unit of National Union of Gramin Dak Sevaks Gautam Das.
Contacted, Assistant Superintendent of Posts, Kendrapara north sub-division Mrutunjaya Bera said postal services have been badly affected due to the strike by Gramin Dak Sevaks. “We hope the strike will end soon for the benefit of common people,” he added.