Maintenance-proof post boxes, lightweight postal trolleys, manual stamp collection machines, gumming device and mail-carrying bag — the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) has created a range of innovative objects to modernise the India Post.
The products have been designed by the centre under professor BK Chakravarty, who has worked as the chair professor for India Post earlier.
“The new post box was launched during its 150th-year celebration, and 30 such post boxes were installed in Metro cities... These showcase how design can help bring in better products and services in the government sector,” Chakravarty said. He said a prototype of the maintenance-proof post box has been submitted and its tender drawings have also gone for mass production.
According to IDC officials, these maintenance-proof boxes offer an easy collection of letters, change of time and common locking for all post boxes in the region. It has ample space for advertisements and can become a revenue-generating activity, apart from lasting at least 20 years.
The lightweight postal trolley, designed by the IDC, can be controlled by a single person. After submitting reports, two prototypes were prepared and modified as per suggestions by GPO, Mumbai. The trolleys are pres-ently deployed at GPO, Mumbai.
“The manual stamp collection machine was suggested by secretary K Noorjehan. The simple sewing machine system was used to make the first prototype and the final one has been deployed at IIT-Powai post office,” Chakravarty said.
While not all innovations developed by IIT-Bombay have been implemented, India Post has begun using a conveyor belt along with volumetric system at its Parel hub, Kaiya Arora, region director of India Post, Mumbai, said. “We are working on introducing automated sorting systems across the country,” she said.
The IDC, under Chakravarty, has also developed computer-based artwork to produce high-quality handstamps, for which a special narrow font has been designed. A financial sanction of Rs 2.5 crore for the project has been received by the office of superintendent, Postal Store depot of GPO Mumbai. The hand stamps will make use of laser technology for etching customised stamps.
Meanwhile, to highlight the role of automation in postal services, Mumbai District Philately Exhibition was inaugurated recently by a robot. The India Post is looking to enhance its brand image by transitioning from letter deliveries to offering citizen-centric services and joining the e-commerce parade.
While the designs have been approved, further sanction to implement them on a large scale is awaited.