Amid the incessant commotion and paperwork inside the ever-busy general post office (GPO) in Jaipur, it is a plain notice on ‘Bottled Gangajal from Rishikesh and Gangotri available here’ that is drawing maximum attention over the past five days. Every once in a while the notice catches a customer’s eye and officials are flooded with queries.
The scheme to sell Ganga water, considered holy by Hindus, from all post offices across the country was launched by union information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on July 10 from Patna. Two varieties of Gangajal -- one bottled in Gangotri and the other one in Rishikesh -- are available.
The price of 500 ml and 200 ml bottles of Gangajal collected from Gangotri are Rs35 and Rs25. The prices of Gangajal bottled from Rishikesh are Rs22 (500 ml) and Rs15 (200 ml).
According to officials at Jaipur GPO, the scheme has struck a chord with the people of Rajasthan. “Within the first five days, almost all the stock has been sold. We are receiving orders for more from different districts,” said assistant postmaster general of Jaipur GPO, BL Bhati, adding that an initial stock of 36 bottles was received for the GPO.
Customers at the GPO too seemed upbeat about the service. “I came to know about the new service only after reading a notice at GPO. This is definitely a very good initiative…Now we won’t have any difficulties to procure Gangajal at reasonable rate,” said Vijay Pitre, a customer at Jaipur GPO.
Apart from the GPO, bottled Gangajal is also available from Shastri Nagar and Jawahar Nagar post offices in Jaipur.
Service available at 24 post offices across state
The new service has also been made available at all the 24 postal divisions in all 33 districts of Rajasthan.
“There are around 10,000 post offices in Rajasthan and we are soon trying to cover each one of them based on the demand for bottled Gangajal. One can also send bottles to their friends and relatives living in different places through speed post. People can also place an order online and get the Ganga water delivered at their doorstep,” said Bhati.
Based on the demand, the postal department is now preparing to place order for the next batch.
High demand in Kota, Ajmer
The Gangajal is also creating waves in Kota and Ajmer districts, quite literally. Bottles of Ganga water were off the shelves at the post offices in the two regions within two days after their sale was launched.
Kota’s senior superintendent of the post office, Jail Singh, told HT that the bottled Ganga water service received overwhelming response in the region. The official said an initial stock of total 30 bottles received for three head post offices were sold within hours on Wednesday.
(With inputs from Aabshar H Quazi, Kota)