Scrap curse haunts Surkhet letter presses

Surkhet, October 13:

Letter presses are fast disappearing in Surkhet after press owners have started replacing them with offset presses for quality and convenient printing.

With the advent of offset presses, letter presses, which used to cover all printing work of ten districts in the mid-western region in the past, are being sold as scraps.

According to press owners, over a dozen letter presses were sold recently at scrap price as they could no longer be used.

“Press owners started preferring offset presses because of their quality printing and convenience in use. The printing in letter press is slow and of low quality and it is also difficult to get skilled manpower to operate it. It is easier to work with an offset press,” Pancha Ratna Sharma of Navadurga Press, said, adding, “It is difficult to provide timely service if we use letter presses.”

Though printing in letter press is cheaper as compared to the one in an offset press and it could also work in the absence of power supply, it is losing its hold in the age of computers, Sharma added. Sharma sold his letter press at scrap price last month.

“I got rid of my letter press and installed an offset press because I could not provide quality and timely service to my clients,” said Kamal Nepal of Asmita Printing Press, adding that the

offset press could print more than 1.5 lakhs pages in a day while the letter press could print just around 10,000 pages. Of the 16 letter presses in the district, only two are in operation these days, Nepal added.

“I have been operating letter press in the district for the past 14 years. My press also used to print some local newspapers in the past,” Shankar Bhandari of Panchakoshi Press, said.

Offset press was first introduced in the district 11 years ago. Six offset presses are currently in operation in the district.