AGARTALA, Feb 22 (PTI): The postal department and courier service providers are facing difficulties to deliver consignments outside Tripura as cargo operation at the airport here has been halted since December last year, officials said on Wednesday.
Ensuring prompt delivery of urgent letters or documents to various destinations has become troublesome with the absence of the cargo facility at the new terminal building in the Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Airport here, they said.
Recently, Agartala Postal Division Superintendent Pradip Majumder has written to the Airport Authority of India to allow air transportation of urgent materials but there has been “no positive response yet”, an official said.
“We have submitted all relevant papers to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), a regulatory body, to introduce cargo facilities at the new terminal building. However, there has been no problem for incoming cargo materials, including postal items,” an airport official said.
A team of BCAS visited the airport twice but “has not given approval yet”, he said.
“As we have not found any other alternative, we are sending postal materials through Railways Mail Service (RMS) via Guwahati. It takes a lot of time and is not foolproof. That is the reason why the movement of postal items is taking so much time. It affects the speed post facility too,” said an official of the postal department.
Courier services provider DTDC is also witnessing a delay in delivering consignments from Tripura.
“Even if one books our premium service, it will take four to five days for delivery of a letter from Agartala to Kolkata because air transportation had been stopped at the airport since December last year. The only channel left for us is the road to deliver letters and documents outside the state,” said Karnajit Sarkar, an executive of DTDC here.
Many students and job seekers could not send their documents in time because of the problem, he added.
The airport authority is also facing problems handling dead bodies at the new facility.
“We face trouble when a dead body needs to be shifted from Agartala to elsewhere. Due to the absence of a cargo facility, the dead bodies are brought to the terminal building for checking, which embarrasses fliers and airline people. Had the cargo facility been available, the dead bodies could have been directly sent to the cargo terminal for movement,” the airport official said.