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Postal service begins using Google codes for accurate delivery



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By Aashish Mishra
Kathmandu, Feb. 27: The postal service has begun using Google Plus codes to effectively deliver postal goods, including letters and parcels, to their proper addresses.
The General Post Office (GPO) began using the six-character location codes from Wednesday after the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology approved the operational procedure related to the use of Google Plus codes for postal delivery.
Many service-seekers complain that the postal service is archaic, especially in its letter delivery mechanism. Chief Post Master Pradyumna Prasad Upadhyay also acknowledged that the post’s problem lay in the delivery. “We often get letters and goods that are not clearly addressed which prevents us from delivering them to the right person. The Google Plus codes will now solve this problem,” he told The Rising Nepal.
With the implementation of the operational procedure, senders’ need only include the Google Plus code of the receivers’ address on the letter or parcel they are sending. The GPO will receive the letter, sort it based on the location it needs to be sent to and then, through its network of lower post offices, deliver it to the exact person or entity. “The delivery personnel will be able to locate the recipient based on their code on their mobile phones which will make the whole process much more efficient and reliable,” Upadhyay said.
The operational procedure urges service seekers to generate the global positioning system-based codes for their homes, offices or other buildings where they wish to receive their mail and then display that code publicly. They are required to write the code on a small plate and affix it on their entrance gate in a prominently visible manner. The codes need to be written in white on a blue background.
Currently, the GPO has only officially made the code-facilitated delivery service available in Kathmandu Valley. “We are pilot testing it in the valley before rolling it out across the country,” Upadhyay said. “But that does not mean that the postal delivery is only limited to Kathmandu,” he clarified.
“A person from Kathmandu or abroad may send a letter to a location outside of the valley – let’s say Pokhara – using the Google Plus code. In such a situation, we will coordinate with our offices in Pokhara and make sure that the letter is delivered to the specified location.”
Upadhyay informed that the GPO had provided a preliminary training to its staff on the new system. He also claimed that they would receive further training on the job as they go out and deliver the letters addressed via the codes.
“It is not extremely complicated and the employees can pick it up very easily,” Upadhyay said.
Similarly, the GPO also plans to produce audio/visual materials along with posters and pamphlets to disseminate information about the service. It will use social media to get the information out and will also make the public aware through the local levels, Upadhyay informed.
People can generate the Google Plus code for their desired location for free on their smartphones using Google Maps.