Traditional mail sees massive decline as email, SMS take over


New Delhi : In the era of high speed communication where a mobile phone message gets delivered to its recipient within seconds, snail mail — like postcards and inland letters — is losing out on its appeal, according to data available with the communications ministry.

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“The present mail traffic trend indicates that there is decrease of sale of post cards and inland letter cards in the post offices which is due to induction of new technology in the field of personal communication,” Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

During 2009-10 the traffic of post cards and inland letter cards as per data available from all postal circles stood at over 78 crore and 91 crore, respectively, as against 195.8 crore and 224.94 crore, respectively, during 2001-02.

India currently has over 850 million mobile phone subscribers and with the low tariffs offered by the telecom service providers across the country, the numbers have been witnessing a continuous rise.

Pilot said the department of posts was trying to improve the quality of mail operations across the country by consolidating and optimising the existing mail network, bring in greater standardization in mail processes and strengthen monitoring mechanisms.

He also said that the department proposed to connect all departmental post and branch post offices in the country through internet by 2012-13, under the India Post Technology project – 2012.

The fiscal 2009-10 saw 14 post offices being shut down.

The telegraph traffic has seen a far larger decline with the average number of telegrams booked per day falling 10.27 percent at 8,513 in the previous financial year. During 2009-10 it had declined 43.44 percent at 9,488.

During 2006-07 the average number of telegrams booked per day stood at 21,785.