Come July 15, the country’s oldest communication service ‘Telegram’ is all set to join history books as BSNL is said to have decided to stop the service from July 15.

The telegram service which was used as a chief mode of communication at the time of emergencies and send alerts during the events of births and deaths since years, saw its decline over the past two decades after mobile phones and internet took over.

The advent of mobile phones and internet saw reduction in people using the telegram services and it is also believed that telegram services had become inviable for BSNL as it suffered huge losses and decided to discontinue the service.

Sources said that it was decided to discontinue telegram service after the matter was discussed at the BSNL Board meeting. The Department of Tele-communication has also given its nod for the stoppage of the services.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, K.L. Jayaram, Senior General Manager, BSNL, Mysore Telecom District, said the telegram services were there from the pre-independent period and it has now been decided to stop the service as the service is no more viable.

“The people working at the Telegraph Department who were considered as ‘wasting cadre’ have been trained to do clerical jobs. Currently, around 30 people are working in the Telegraph Department who will now be assisting in clerical works. This apart, the people who were previously working the department have retired”, said Jayaram.

Jayaram also mentioned that telegram was no more used as a mode of communication.

BSNL was faced with declining revenues through telegram. The Government in May 2011 had revised the telegram charges after a gap of 60 years. The charges for inland services were hiked to Rs 27.50 from Rs. 3.50 to Rs. 4.50 earlier.

In earlier days, telegram services were utilised by banks to communicate with the defaulters regarding non-payment of loans and even for transfer of funds. But with technological advancements, the transfer of funds has become easy through online banking.

Manjula Balachander, PA to Senior General Manager (Mysore Telecom) and Senior Section Officer, said that the advent of mobile was the major reason for the decline in telegram services. “Today sending and receiving message has become easy. Earlier, telegrams were used to send messages to remote hamlets. But today, even those living in villages have mobile and they are easily accessible. Even the Postal Department which used to deliver telegrams has stopped the services after the bifurcation of telegram from Postal Department,” said Manjula.

The first telegraph message was transmitted between Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Diamond Harbour, a distance of 50 kms on Nov. 5, 1850 and the service was opened for general public in Feb. 1855.

Curtains have fallen on one of India’s oldest communication modes, the 160 year-old telegram service. However, there will be no cuts in jobs as the department has already trained the telegraph personnel to perform other duties.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore