Friday, June 14, 2013

India says goodbye to telegram

Indian authorities have decided to discontinue its telegram services from July 15.
The age of smart phones, emails and SMS seems to have pushed the humble telegram service to a quiet corner of museum with the state-owned BSNL deciding to shut down the service that had functioned for 160 years.
Once the main source of quick and urgent communication, good or bad, the service found itself struggling with the advent of technology and newer means of communication.
As per a circular issued by Shameem Akhtar, senior general manager (Telegraph Services) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the telegraph service is to be discontinued with effect from July 15, 2013.
The circular also denotes all telegraph offices under the management of BSNL will have to stop booking telegrams from July 15.
Faced with declining revenues, the government had in May 2011, revised the telegram charges after a gap of 60 years, in a last-ditch attempt to make the legacy commercially viable.
But the increase could not keep the service afloat. The charge for a 50-word telegram for services within India was hiked to Rs 27/50 from Rs 3/50, 4/50 earlier.
The history of Indian telegram began in 1850 with first experimental telegraphic line between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour in West Bengal state.
A year later, the British East India Company began using it and in next four years telegraphic lines were laid across the country and the service was thrown open to the people in the year 1854.

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