The post office here, which serves the nearly 1.25-lakh strong population of the town, besides that of many surrounding villages, has been running from an unsafe building for many years now.
However, now the post office is being shifted to a new building rented from the Red Cross. However, high rent had held up the shifting and the delay in shifting is worrying the employees as well as visitors to the post office.
"Earlier, the Red Cross had demanded Rs 27,000 per month as rent, which has now been negotiated to Rs 19,990. And, now we are expecting shifting shortly," said an employee.
The rent of Rs 27,000 per month was not approved by our Chandigarh office, he said.
"The post office started functioning in the town in November 1902 from this building rented from the municipal committee. But, after 1953, the lease by the municipal committee was not extended as it wanted the building vacated, but the postal department kept the post office running without extension of the lease," said Sham Lal Goyal, president of the national consumer awareness, Muktsar.
"The post office kept on running from the unsafe building for many years because senior officials of the department did not bother to shift it to a safer building. During a rainy day, the employees work under the constant fear of the building collapsing anytime," said a local.
"Running of a public office, like that of a post office, from an unsafe building is neither safe nor in public interest. It may result in any mishappening at any time, "observed the high court, dismissing an appeal by the union of India two years ago.
"The process to shift the office to a new building has begun. The case has been forwarded to the higher authorities for the final approval and we are going to shift to the new building soon," said Bhagat Ram, post master.