Mumbai pips others in booking telegrams on D-day

Mumbai pips others in booking telegrams on D-day

Nostalgic Mumbaikars piped others to rush to post offices on Sunday to bid adieu to telegram services by sending souvenir messages.

 As the 163-year-old communication system said good bye, more than 20,000 telegrams are estimated to have been booked. Over 11,000 are estimated to have been done in Mumbai alone.

The Central Telegraph Office (CTO) at Janpath, Delhi, closed with around 2,220 applications, a BSNL spokesperson said.

With hundreds of people jostling into the 75 telegram offices across the country, the last message was booked for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi just before the computer closed at around 11:45 pm on Sunday at the Delhi CTO.

Rahul was wished “success and happiness in life” and “glories of great man of the past.”
“Around 20,000 telegrams are estimated to have been booked and 12,568 were despatched by afternoon. Last telegram was for Rahul Gandhi before the computer closed. Maximum bookings of over 11,000 are estimated to have been done in Mumbai alone,” a BSNL spokesperson said.

“We decided not to disappoint any customer. Hence, we collected forms manually. Our office staff had to stay overnight, prepare receipt and book messages manually after closing computers,” he said.

The telegraph company, which has been sending an average of 5,000 messages per day, was forced to deploy additional staff to clear the extra rush on Sunday.

Besides a large crowd, there was quest among people to send out last telegram messages. The BSNL has plans to archive 5 last messages if their senders grant permission.

The last two telegram forms were manually deposited by a girl from the north-east, Yirmiyan, at 11:58 pm of which one was for senior journalist M J Akbar.
“Our staff is working on despatching these manual bookings. Many hands are at work. We are yet to know about the last message that will be despatched,” the spokesperson said. Nine telegraph office staff decided to stay back to work on forms that were collected manually.

Among thousands of messages that were sent across the country, the telegraph staff received two “thank you” telegrams for their service.

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