In the age of electronic mail, the practice of sending mail via post is almost extinct, and justifiably so, when postal services blur the lines between ‘speed’ post and snail mail. A south Mumbai-based resident learnt this the hard way, when his parcel traversed through five cities in five days to reach Delhi even though it was mailed via speed post.
Jaymin Panchal, an event professional and RTI activist, sent a query to the ministry of human resource development and the ministry of finance on the issue of educational cess on May 16. The query was sent via speed post. To his surprise, the speed post crawled to three different locations — Kolkata, Dhanbad and Ranchi — after being dispatched from the city on May 16, and finally reached Delhi on May 21 at 7 pm.
Jaymin Panchal said, “I sent my parcel containing the RTI query to New Delhi on May 16, and specifically apprised the post office officials of the contents of the parcel and the need for it to reach its destination as soon as possible. This delay of the postal department surely raises questions.” Panchal kept a close watch on the movement of his parcel, with the help of the tracking-in- transit facility. “I took a screenshot of the route taken by my package before it finally reached Delhi. When the package has been sent via speed post, I don’t see why such a process is required,” Panchal added.
Panchal also wondered if the delay was deliberate, since the package contained an RTI query, but also said that even if that is not the case, the sheer callousness on part of the postal department gives rise to concern.
The Other Side
Postal director Abha Singh said, “I will have to see the complaint made by him and will also verify whether the correct address was mentioned on the parcel sent.” Panchal filed an e-complaint with the Mumbai GPO on May 22.