Monday, April 8, 2013

Aadhaar clogs postal department's distribution channel in Kerala

Dear Comrades,

KOCHI: Distribution of Aadhaar cards has affected the functioning of postal departments in the state. With over one crore Aadhaar cards pending at various post offices, authorities with the postal department are at a loss on how to tide over the situation.

Every day more than thousand Aadhaar cards are reaching each post office for distribution. Absence of details like PINCODE in the address makes the issue further worse. Authorities with the postal department are of the view that the department can't focus entirely on distribution of Aadhaar cards as other services will be paralysed. "Given the absence of clarity in addresses, we will not be able to outsource services of other agencies. So, we tried to seek the service of retired postmen. But that also didn't work," chief post master general Shobha Koshy told TOI. Now the department is planning to ask the postmen work extra hours. There are suggestions that postmen should be given perks for the extra work. "The issue is that the distribution of Aadhaar cards is a continuous process. So, we don't get any break. But we will be able to do it. We have got 25 days to distribute a card once it reaches the post office," Shobha Koshy said.

But the employees' organisations argue that unscientific reforms coupled with the staff shortage have led to the present imbroglio. "There is a shortage of around 200 postmen in Ernakulam district alone. The authorities are unable to fill these vacancies," said T N Mohanachandran, Ernakulam district secretary, Federation of National Postal Organisation (FNPO). ```Moreover, night sorting used to be held in Railway Mail Service (RMS) offices was stopped. Earlier, a batch of officials would sort articles from 5.45 pm to 5.45 am. As the system was stopped, articles have piled up in these stations," he said.

There were instances in which post masters seeking the help of members of local bodies to identify the addressees. "Civic body members can identify people more easily. That's why the post masters seek their service. In one case, authorities gave punishment transfer to a post master who sought the help of civic body members to identify the addressees. But later, Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) nullified the decision to transfer the post master," Mohanachandran said.

Times of India
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