Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Minister's statement in Loksabha on opening of Branch post offices

Provision of Post and Telegraph Services Postal facilities are available in all the villages including Gram Panchayat Villages. Post Offices are opened subject to fulfillment of prescribed norms. Villages which are not having the physical existence of Post Office, are provided postal facilities from the nearest existing Post Office. Out of a total 2,40,224 Gram Panchayat Villages, 1,22,973 Gram Panchayat Villages do not have the physical existence of a Post Office. In Maharashtra State, 15,732 Gram Panchayat Villages out of total 23,040 Gram Panchayat Villages do not have Post Offices. As regard to telegraph facilities, number of Village Panchayats having no telegraph service is 16,679.

For increasing access to postal facilities, 54 Branch Post Offices (in rural areas) and 124 Sub Post Offices (in both urban and rural areas) were opened in new locations throughout the country during 2009-10 and during the current year 2010-11 target for opening of 200 Branch Post Offices (in rural areas) and 110 Sub Post Offices (in both rural and urban areas) has been allotted to the Circles.

In addition to this, alternative arrangement for providing basic postal facilities through Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Kendras (PSSKs) is available in 4,555 Gram Panchayat Villages in the country including 502 in Maharashtra. New PSSKs have not been opened during the period of last three years and current year.

During the last three years, telegraph office has not been set up in any Village Panchayat and there is also no proposal to set up any telegraph office in any Village Panchayat including Maharashtra in the current year.

There is a proposal to cover all the villages with Village Public Telephones (VPTs) under the Universal Service Obligation Fund Scheme. 5,71,170 villages have already been covered with the Village Public Telephones (VPTs) as on 30.09.2010. Broadband coverage has already been provided to 97426 Village Panchayats. There is a target of Broadband coverage of all the Village Panchayats.

Opening of Post Offices in new locations is an ongoing exercise. Post Offices are opened subject to fulfillment of stipulated norms. Due to advent of new technologies like e-mail, SMS, etc. there is deep decline in telegraph traffic and therefore, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) does not propose to open any telegraph office in the country including Maharashtra.

This information was given by Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Gurudas Kamat in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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