Kolkata, July 14: Bottled 'Gangajal' from Rishikesh has vanished from the shelves within two days of India Post having launched the sale from its 47 head post offices throughout West Bengal.
"We have seen a surprising demand for this bottled Gangajal from Rishikesh... We started selling it from Sunday and by Tuesday the stock was totally sold out," Chief Post Master General, West Bengal Circle, Arundhaty Ghosh told PTI.
Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Manoj Sinha on Sunday launched the new scheme which made easy availability of Ganga water at all post offices across the country.
Two varieties of Gangajal one bottled in Gangotri and the other one in Rishikesh, some 300km downstream were available. Gangajal, packaged in bottles of 200ml and 500ml in Rishikesh were sold from the city's General Post Office (GPO) and 46 other head post offices including Howrah, Midnapore, Tamluk and Siliguri.
"The demand is quite high and we were unable to match it because the supply was quite meagre for the first batch," Ghosh said.
While the city saw 15 bottles of 'Gangajal' collected in Rishikesh vanishing on the first date, five bottles of 200ml were sold out within minutes in Siliguri.
"Those bottles we have sold so far were bottled in Rishikesh. We are yet to receive those bottled in Gangotri. But the response was very encouraging," the CPMG said.
On the reasons behind the "sold out" of the Gangajal, Ghosh reasoned that "the great sentiment associated with the holy water of the Ganges from Rishikesh".
The 200ml bottled Gangajal from Rishikesh is priced at Rs 15 while the 500ml costs Rs 22, Ghosh said.
"The Gangotri water will be slightly costlier with the 200ml bottle pried at Rs 25, the 500ml bottle is priced at Rs 35," the CPMG added.
In fact, orders have been placed for a quick supply of bottles to meet the demand, she stated.
"We have placed new orders for an immediate supply. But it may take some time to reach West Bengal because of bad roads in Uttarakhand," Ghosh said adding that a small consignment will arrive soon.
"So far we have managed to get a small consignment because the demand from other parts of the country is also quite high. But we are trying to get more," the official said.
Talking about the sale online, the CPMG said, "People can place their order directly online to get the bottles packed in a beautiful box at the doorstep."
For bottles online, one need to pay the charges equal to that of charges of the Speed Post.
"Here, in West Bengal online charges are likely to vary depending on the distance. There can be a price difference," another official at the Postal department said.
According to Ghosh, this will definitely be a big boost for business of the Postal department.
The initiative was taken up by the Narendra Modi government to deliver the holy water from the Ganga at the doorstep of every Indian across the length and breadth of the country using the vast postal network.