It's end of the road for the 160-year-old telegraph service as smart phones, emails and SMS have combined to make the humble telegram irrelavent. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), which operated the service through post offices, will discontinue it from 15 July.
The telegraph service, which was widely in use for urgent text messaging till the 1980s, found itself irrelevant with the advent of the internet and the mobile phone. The smart phone technology and new messaging mediums like social networking sites have completely edged out the telegraph service.
In a circular issued to the various telecom districts and circle offices, Shameem Akhtar, Sr General Manager (Telegraph Services) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, said the telegraph services would be discontinued from 15 July 2013.
The circular also said that all telegraph offices managed by BSNL will have to stop booking telegrams from 15 July.
BSNL offices will maintain the logbooks, service messages and delivery slips for a further six-month period from the date of bookings. However, complaints, press reports and other messages from different consumer forum will be kept for one year.
BSNL, which has been operating the telegraph service through post offices, said it has taken the decision in consultation with the Department of Post.
With the post offices also getting computerised, the Department of Post is also of the opinion that keeping the service alive served no purpose.
BSNL proposes to deploy the staff rendered surplus by the closure of telegraph service in mobile services, landline telephony and broadband services over the next the months.
BSNL had hiked telegram charges for inland services to Rs27.50 from Rs3.50-4.50, after a gap of 60 years, in a bid to stay afloat. But, with no demand, BSNL had started the winding up procedure starting with closure of overseas telegrams in March this year.