People staying in small towns and villages may soon, like their urban counterparts, be able to receive their mails and parcels through couriers, provided the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) finds suitable service providers.
The corporation, with a fleet of around 9,000 buses touching state’s every nook and corner, has decided to allow private courier agencies to carry parcels in its buses in order to generate additional revenue for itself.
“We will certainly allow our buses as carriers of couriers and parcels if we find agencies willing to tie up with us,” UPSRTC managing director Alok Kumar told HT.
“We are holding a pre-bid conference here on September 6 to assess the bidders’ response and address their queries and doubts,” he added.
As per the scheme already approved, the UPSRTC will provide a container or a box on the roof of its buses and inside them enabling the selected service providers to carry couriers and parcels for different destinations. However, this facility will not be available in air-conditioned buses whose luggage carrier may be used for the purpose. Also, the total weight of the mails will not be allowed to exceed 500 kg per bus.
Under an agreement to be signed between the UPSRTC and the selected bidders, the buses will collect couriers and parcels from its 242 bus stations spread across the state as well as from other appointed places. They will then be delivered at the desired destinations against certain amount of charges to be paid by the courier agency.
The proposed arrangement will benefit people in small towns and villages, where private agencies do not have network to deliver mails, in a big way.
“Our buses go to every district, tehsil and most of the block headquarters besides touching a large number of villages twice or thrice every day,” pointed out Kumar. He said none else had this kind of communication network, which the courier agencies could use to serve people in small places also.
The UPSRTC buses are also engaged in inter-state operations plying to and from states like Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh and the courier/parcel service, it is pointed out, can be extended to cities of those states as well.
The proposal to private agencies registered under the Post and Telegraph Act to use buses to carry couriers and parcel had been cleared by the UPSRTC’s board of directors more than a year ago. “But now, we are giving a shape to the proposal having already invited bids. Now, much will depend on the bidders’ response, which may be known at the pre-bid conference,” UPSRTC general manager Ajay Srivastav said.