A derelict post office

Built in 1972 on Station Road, Shayestaganj post office building in Habiganj is now in a dilapidated condition with plaster falling off ceiling and visible cracks on the walls.

Despite repeated letters to higher authorities for a new building, they are not getting any approval, the post office officials said.

The regular functioning of the post office is being hampered and they are compelled to work at the risky environment, they said.

Visiting the post office, it was seen that electric wires hanging all over the office posing the risk of an accident anytime. Office doors and windows are all broken with no toilet attached to the run-down building.

In addition to this, cracks have also appeared on the boundary wall following an earthquake. As part of the government initiative to modernise the post office, Post E-Center has also been launched at Shayestaganj Post Office. In this e-center, 60 students are taking classes in the risky building.

Mukul Das, a resident of Sayestaganj town said, “The government has provided many modern facilities to the post office. But I am afraid to go to this post office fearing that the building would collapse.”

“Many in our area also shun the office building fearing the same,” he said.

Nazmul Islam, a NGO accountant in the same area said “I need revenue stamps every day for my work. So, I have to go to Habiganj town every month to collect those. I avoid going to the nearby post office as the building is old and risky.”

Jony Rani Das, an instructor at the post office’s e-training center said, “Sixty students take classes at the center. I am always in panic; the roof may collapse at any time. The students are taking classes risking their lives.”

Postal operator Akhlaqul Ambia said, “Important are also kept in this office. Other activities of the post office include general public deposits. People from remote areas still come here for services. I work here at the risk of my life. Our office is plagued with various problems.”

The other 14 staffers of the office echoed Jony Rani Das and Akhlaqul Ambia.

Postmaster Golam Mostafa Shamim said, there are 14 sub-offices under Shayestaganj Post Office. All the important official documents are preserved here.

“We do not have security personnel. People have important documents and money in this office. But we are compelled to do our job at this risky building,” he said.

The residential building allotted for me was also abandoned. This office is facing myriad of problems, he said adding that the departmental office has been informed about the problems many times.

Abdul Quader, assistant postmaster general (APG) in Habiganj said, “Proposals for the new building have already been sent to the central office. Maybe the file for the new building will be approved in a few days.”