NEW DELHI: In a rare observation coming from the official auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General has appreciated the functioning of the postal department. The reason: deliveries of speed post letters which are more reliable and faster than private courier services.
Delivery of letters by speed post ranged from 1-9 days in major cities with 99% chances of letters reaching addressees. In comparison, the private courier services turned out to be less reliable with 92% test check letters reaching destination, and time taken ranged from 1-10 days.
A CAG report, tabled in Parliament recently, has said that the performance of speed post has been better than the private couriers in major cities, at the tehsil level and at village level.
In order to compare the performance and quality of speed post service with private courier agencies for delivery of mails, a test check was conducted by CAG in eight postal circles -- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Checks were conducted by posting hundreds of letters.
As far as delivery performance was concerned, it was found that 98% letters were delivered by speed post in local areas as compared to 93% by private couriers. In major cities, the delivery performance by speed post was 99% as compared to 92% of private couriers. At the tehsil level only speed post could reach 100% addressees that too within 1-7days. Private couriers could only deliver 83% letters and time ranged from 1-23 days.
"Based on the results, it could be concluded that the speed post service of the department of posts (DoP) was better than the services provided by the private courier services," the auditor said.
Speed post service was introduced in 1986 to provide a fast and time-bound delivery service in major cities. However, due to late delivery of mails people had stopped relying on the department for timely-delivery of documents. Still, speed post services account for more than 10% of the total revenue of DoP.
In the test check, the auditor had posted 284 letters by speed post and 287 by different private courier services. The performance was judged based on the number of letters sent, letters actually delivered, and time taken for delivery of test letters by speed post as well as private couriers.