Thiruvananthapuram: The Department of Post is planning to close down post offices functioning on rented premises across Kerala.
Those who are employed in the post offices facing closure will be redeployed to other sections of the Department.
As a first step, it has been decided not to renew the rental agreement for over 100 post offices functioning and to attach them to head post offices.
Most post offices in the A, B, and C categories are functioning in rented buildings. These are the offices being wound up in Kerala. The revenue from all the post offices in the A,B, and C classes will be assessed before taking a call on closing them down in a phased manner.
The post offices at Cotton Hill in Thiruvananthapuram and at the fort in Palakkad, which are profit-making ones, are also being wound up.
Shashi Tharoor, MP, has written a letter to the Postal Department, demanding that the Cotton Hill post office should be retained. Even though the State government had offered to provide land for the fort post office in Palakkad, the department has decided to wind it up.
In C-class post offices, the staff consists of just one clerk. A postmaster and a clerk run B-class ones, while A-class post offices have two clerks besides the postmaster.
The Department has its own land and infrastructure for offices from the head post office level.
Employee benefits cut
It is alleged that various benefits of the employees had been slashed as part of the Department’s efforts to conserve funds.
No employees are being appointed on a temporary basis to the posts of those who are on leave.
As per an order substitute appointments have been barred in the cadres of postman and Multi-Tasking Staff (MTS) in the postal and Railway Mail Service (RMS) sections.
P K Muralidharan, circle convener of the Postal Joint Council of Action, has demanded that the authorities must find a practical solution to the issues pertaining to rent/buildings and revoke the policy of closing down post offices.
Over 5,000 post offices issue life certificates for pensioners. Closing down such establishments will affect senior citizens who avail of the facility. As the post offices provide higher interest on deposits, their closure will also come as a setback to those who carry out financial transactions there.