Saturday, May 14, 2016

Surat post offices run out of cheque books, hundreds suffer

Senior citizen Darayas Modi has been doing rounds of the nearby post office for last 10 days to withdraw his fixed deposit money for some household work. But every time he is told that post office is out of cheque books, hence it cannot issue cheques.

This is not an isolated case. As many as 33 post offices in Surat don't have the stock of cheque books and as a result hundreds of account holders are not able to withdraw from their own accounts. The department of post's reply on the issue is that they have made requisition to the head office, but are yet to receive the stock.

Another account holder with department of post, Lalji Patel, from Vesu too has been facing the same problem while wanting to encash his investment made in Kisan Vikas Patra.

Surat postal department is the richest department in terms of revenue earning in whole of Vadodara division of Indian Postal services. It has deposits and balance of more than Rs 1,400 crore with 7.16 lakh account holders of different kind which is higher than the accounts with city's State Bank of India. Nanpura Post office with 33 sub-offices across the western and south-western part of the city has over 4.19 lakh account holders with deposits worth Rs 790 crore.

A middle level official from Nanpura post office on the condition of anonymity said, "Cheque books are not available since last one month. At least 20,000 account holders have been deprived of their money due to unavailability of the cheque book. We have sent the request repeatedly. But, till we receive the cheque books we are helpless."

Chief Post Master General, Lieutenant colonel DKS Chauhan when asked told TOI, "I am just not aware of any such problem. But, I will have a look into it and speed up the process if there is a shortage."
Interestingly, Surat postal department has 70 vacant posts of supervisory staff, 120 postman and about 30 Group D staff.
"Working under constant shortage of staff, load of work doesn't allow us to peruse some issues as we should. Common people suffer because of that," said a senior officer of the department.


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