Bhubaneswar: Centre decided to close the Postal Printing Press located in Mancheswar Industrial Estate here very soon.
A notice has been served to Chief Post Master General (CPMG) of the Odisha Postal Circle by the Department of Posts on May 9 directing him for closure of the printing press in Bhubaneswar.
The decision came at a committee of secretaries meeting held on April 27 in New Delhi following a proposal recommending winding up the printing operation in Bhubaneswar.
As the printing unit of postal department will be closed, the authorities directed the department officials in Bhubaneswar not to purchase the papers and other items required for printing. They asked to send the documents and data of all the employees working at the press to the Centre for rehabilitation.
However, there is no specific date mentioned in the notice to close the press.
The move triggered sharp reactions among the existing employees who are especially from Odisha and those are depending on the press indirectly.
The employees association in the printing press decided to stage demonstration against closure of the press and urge Odisha government to intervene in the matter.
The postal printing press, country’s only printing press under the Department of Posts was built in an area of four acre land allotted by Odisha government through IDCO at Mancheswar Industrial Estate in 1987. Initially, the press was functional with 230 employees. The number of employees is now 146 following transfer and retirement of the staff subsequently.
Almost all types of official items of the postal department including forms, books, passbook, saving bank passbook and accounts book were being printed at the postal press. While 1,400 types of forms are required across the country, only 400 types of forms were being printed from here.
The country requires 1.20 lakh MT prints, whereas only 2,000 MT prints are made per year at the press.
Although, the printing press is equipped with advanced machines and skilled workers, it is not able to meet requirement of the postal department due to shortage of staff, sources said.