DISPENSING OF ARMY POSTAL SERVICES FROM ARMY UNDER APPROVED REFORMS OF GOVERNMENT CAUSING BITTER INJUSTICE TO THE TROOPS
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N0.PF-67/24/2017 Dated: 09 November, 2017
Shri Manoj Sinha,
Hon`ble Minister of Communications & IT,
Government. of India,
New Delhi-110 001
SUB: DISPENSING OF ARMY POSTAL SERVICES FROM ARMY UNDER APPROVED REFORMS OF GOVERNMENT CAUSING BITTER INJUSTICE TO THE TROOPS
It has come to our notice from some reliable sources that Govt of India is going to take decision to dispense with the services of Army Postal Services.
In this connection it is pertinent to mention that APS personnel mostly deputed from the Postal Department serving in the Army were meant to provide all postal services very close to their barracks even to those troops serving very far flung border area. The APS personnel arrange their lectures to guide them for collocating habit of small savings schemes and Postal Life Insurance helping them for deduction their premium from the accounts maintained by respective PAO(OR). Prior to APS the troops were in darkness and there was no way for their troops for guidance for savings purposes.
2. The Army Postal Service (APS), functions as a government-operated military mail system in India. A primary feature of Army Postal Service systems is that normally they are subsidized to ensure that military mail posted between duty stations abroad and the home country (or vice versa) does not cost the sender any more than normal domestic mail traffic. In some cases, Indian military personnel in a combat zone may post letters and/or packages to the home country for free, while in others, senders located in a specific overseas area may send military mail to another military recipient, also located in the same overseas area, without charge. Officers are deputed primarily from the Indian Postal Service and from the Army Corps. Army Postal Service is the only service that enables civil service officers to work in the armed forces.
3. APS is a unique organization in the sense that it is a happy blend of the Department of Posts, India and Indian Army. APS functions as a part of the countrywide postal setup but administratively it is under Army. Though a part of the Army, APS also extends its services to Air Force and other Paramilitary Forces. APS also provides limited cover to the Indian Navy. It also provides cover to Indian troops deployed with UN Peace Keeping Forces abroad.APS is also providing the Postal and remittance facilities to Border Road Organization cutting and maintaining roads in the various parts in remote areas on mountains .
4. Origin of APS dates back to 1856 when the first FPO accompanied the British Expeditionary forces to Persia. FPOs continued to be requisitioned by the Army from the Dept of Posts to accompany Expeditionary Forces till World War I. During World War II volunteers from the Dept of P & T were drawn as combatants to run the FPOs. In 1947 when Indian troops were rushed to J & K, the handful of personnel, who remained with the occupation forces in Japan, were sent to provide postal services to the troops. This group germinated into the present Army Postal Service. Army Postal Service joined the World War-1 in 1914 and accompanied various forces continued to function till 1923.
5. The Army official mail Scheduled Despatch Service (SDS) was carried from one Formation to another through Signal Regiment engaging First Class compartments in mail trains which was handed over to APS in 1969.APS Corps emerged as Independent Corps in 1972.
6. Gallantry Awards Vir Chakra to L/NK Perinmbam on 26 Jan 1952 and Shaurya Chakra to Col R K Bansal on 26 Jan 1986.
7. Army Postal Service provides Postal, Remittance, Savings & Insurance services to Army, Indian Navy, Air Force and Paramilitary forces personnel through 500 Field Post Offices established across the country. It also provides cover to Indian troops deployed with United Nations Peace Keeping Forces abroad including Bhutan.
8. The head of Army Postal Service is the Additional Director General Army Postal Service at Army Headquarters in the rank of Major General. He is assisted by Deputy Director General Army Postal Service in the rank of Brigadier at Army Headquarters.
The two Command Based Post Offices at Delhi and Kolkata 1CBPO56 APO
2CBPO29 APO and Army Postal Service Centre at Kamptee Nagpur are commanded by Commandants in the rank of Colonel. The Officers Commanding Corps/Divisional/Area/Border Roads/Assam Rifles/Air Force Postal Units in the rank of Lt Col/ Major/Captain monitor the functioning of Field Post Offices under their control and discharge the functions of the Postal Advisor to the General-Officer-Commanding. Two Central Base Post Offices and Section Base Post Offices serve as the nodal points for mail processing.
Army Postal Service is a Postal Circle of India Post working under the technical control of Indian Army.
Hundreds of Packers, Postman and Postal Assistants LSG & HSG Supervisors Inspectors/Assistant Superintendents are on deputation to Army Postal Service Corps from Department of Posts. These are the permanent employees of Department of Posts and in place of these employees temporary employees are working in the Civil Post Offices. On disbanding of APS Corps these APS personnel will be repatriated to their civil wing as such temporary employees will be unemployed causing a great injustice with these employees. Civilian Employees of Department of Posts voluntarily served the nation as combat in peace and war at remote and far flung snow bound areas, disbanding the APS Corps will also not justice with them.
9. On hearing the abrupt decision of Govt. of India for dispensing with such services to the troops is a matter of grave concern. It is felt that the dispensing of services on the basis of new technology appears to have been misunderstood. The postal services were under strict security over the correspondence of troops made between their families and kith and kin. Though it is admitted that the troops can use mobile and send their money to their families by Banks etc. But will not be possible when the actual war starts. The services of modern technology in many circumstances are banned due to security point of view. After through and serious deliberations, the services of APS are very essential. After II World WAR the APS was found very indispensable on many counts.
10. The troops serving in the Army mostly belonging to far flung area where their family can neither get bank facilities and other postal facilities will feel depleted and distressed and this would hurt their morale. The booster of morale of every soldier is very essential to maintain their morale boosting chain among them.
11. (a) SB Schemes are being operated by APS and there are about 9 lakh SB Accounts 86% and expenditure of APS is met with these SB Schemes.
(b) APS is also doing business under PLI and having about 13 lakh policies which is a good source of income to meet out the expenditure of APS.
12. APS is well maintained and proving back bone to the troops for providing morale booster for the above obvious reasons. In case it is felt that present scenario does not find suitable to keep permanently APS Corps would prove bitter repentance over the past. However if it is the need of the hour to overlook the services and postal facilities being provided to troops may and totally uprooting/dispensing would prove a bitter injustice to the troops while flashing back over the past.
It is therefore requested to kindly bestow your personal attention on this matter and influence your good office to convenience Government of India not ro close Army Postal Service (APS) whose service are very much required for the India Army.
Copy to : Shri A N Nanda , Secretary Department of Posts for necessary action.