Going by the complaints on various websites about delay and non-delivery of speed post there is reason to believe that the postal service is in its last gasp (which may be even deliberate so that the various private courier services can have free market play). First hand information available also confirms this fear.
A speed post sent to Coimbatore from Chennai’s Adyar PO on February 17, 2012 and received in Coimbatore on February 18 remained undelivered till February 20. India Post has provision for posting complaints on its website. As the complaint link did not open an email was sent to the chief post master, Tamil Nadu on February 19 mentioning the delay. To this, a reply was received on February 20 from the Dy Manager (CS), SPBO, Chennai 600006, that the case is being enquired for delay in delivery, followed by another email from the same person that as per reply from the destination the Speed Post
was delivered on February 20.
As the replies did not explain the delay, the sender emailed the official that the postal department cannot explain away its responsibility by stating that the letter was delivered on the 20th - it ought to explain the delay in delivering the post and why the post remained undelivered in Coimbatore for two days.
Since no reply was received for a long time an email was sent to the official on April 2: “I have waited for more than a month and I have not heard from you. As per rules I am entitled to get refund of the money spent for sending the speed post. Please send it or face legal action.”
While the speed post charges were refunded in April it was poor consolation for the delay in delivery and the related inconvenience. That apart, though the official had mentioned that an enquiry for the delay was initiated, till date no information on this has been furnished. During the same month the sender faced a similar delay in the delivery of another speed post. But since the speed post was sent by the LIC, the delay could not be taken up with the postal department. The LIC and similar organizations must be sending hundreds of letters daily by speed post and the postal department must be delivering many of these after considerable delay. As these organizations are a law unto themselves, neither transparent nor accountable to the public the postal department’s inaction in their case goes unnoticed and unreported.
To cite a more glaring case, on September 1, 2012 a speed post was sent to Delhi. Though the article reached Delhi on September 2 as evident from the speed post tracking details available on the India Post website, it was not delivered till September 8. As in the previous case on the postal department’s website the complaint link did not open (most likely it is deliberately disabled to avoid receiving complaints!); so an email was sent on September 5 to the CPMG, Delhi. Though he was also contacted on phone he passed the buck asking the person to contact one of the two phone numbers given by him.
As these numbers were inaccessible on September 6, the email sent to the CPMG was forwarded to AD (BD & MD), Business Development & Marketing Directorate. The AD (BD & MD), forwarded the forwarded email to the CPMG for necessary enquiries, asking the CPMG to deliver the speed post to the addressee at the earliest and inform the complainant under intimation to the AD (BD & MD); the CPMG forwarded this email to Assistant Director (PG), Delhi, for necessary action; and on September 9 the AD emailed the complainant that as per tracking status, the postal article was delivered on September 8.
The tracking status sent by the AD itself is a telltale, and should serve as yet another compulsion, and even opportunity, for Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, to quit:
Detailed Track Events For […]
Date Time Status at Status
01/09/2012 16:56:46 Adyar S.O (Chennai) Item Booked
01/09/2012 20:01:16 Adyar S.O (Chennai) Item bagged for CHENNAI
01/09/2012 20:03:34 Adyar S.O (Chennai) Bag Despatched to CHENNAI
01/09/2012 23:33:46 CHENNAI Bag Received
02/09/2012 00:08:13 CHENNAI Bag Opened
02/09/2012 00:08:15 CHENNAI Item Received
02/09/2012 03:03:21 CHENNAI Item bagged for NEW DELHI
02/09/2012 14:05:44 PALAM TMO Bag Received
02/09/2012 15:49:21 PALAM TMO Bag Despatched to NEW DELHI
02/09/2012 16:50:53 NEW DELHI Bag Received
02/09/2012 22:19:50 CHENNAI Bag Despatched to NEW DELHI
05/09/2012 19:01:00 NEW DELHI Bag Received
05/09/2012 19:10:04 NEW DELHI Bag Opened
05/09/2012 19:10:04 NEW DELHI Item Received
06/09/2012 11:36:40 NEW DELHI Item bagged for Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi)
06/09/2012 12:34:15 NEW DELHI Bag Despatched to Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi)
06/09/2012 14:34:34 Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi) Bag Received
06/09/2012 15:22:20 Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi) Bag Opened
06/09/2012 15:22:20 Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi) Item Received
08/09/2012 00:00:00 Malviya Nagar S.O (South Delhi) Item Delivered
A fundamental question which even a naive person would pose to Kapil Sibal is - while a tracking system is in place in the postal department, has it ever tried to make an all-India study of the delivery status of the articles over a period of time. On enquiry with the post offices about the delay, the response given was “articles are assigned to different postmen for delivery”. What was not said is what happens after assigning the articles. Are there no facilities in the post offices for tracking the fate of the assigned articles and taking appropriate action?
Though in the present case emails have been sent for refund to the three officials, they have not cared to even acknowledge the emails.