The Government Post Office building in Nagpur completes its 100 years of existence this year and it gives me yet another chance to proclaim that I am proud to be a Nagpurian!
As part of the centenary celebrations of the British era heritage structure, the GPO conducted a letter writing and drawing competition for school going students. A district level philately exhibition is also on the cards in the coming week to encourage the public to cultivate the hobby of stamp collection.
The fortnight from 8-22 October has specially been ear-marked to commemorate the iconic construction of the GPO.
The Victorian styled building is a two-storeyed complex and is located at Civil Lines — the heart of the city. Being a marvellous example of British architecture, it was declared a national heritage by the Indian Government in February 1994. The edifice of the building was laid out in 1916-17 and the construction was completed in 1920-21. While the area of the complex is around 9.5 acres, the plinth area is about 26, 622 square feet.
One thing that intrigued me the most is that the cost of construction of the building way back in 1916 was around Rs. 5 lakh.
The main building is basically a load bearing structure having brick walls, steel columns, beams and ribs encased in lime concrete with a pitched roof in country tiles and battens. By contrast, the exterior has wide verandas, Tuscan columns, stone screens and a Roman arch topped by a pavilion of 12 columns supporting a clock tower.
Once the seat of the erstwhile Post Master General of Central Provinces and Berar, the GPO at Nagpur is considered to be the mother institution in the postal circle of Central Provinces. In 1965, this office came under the jurisprudence of the Post Master General of Maharashtra circle.
Besides enclosing a well-lit spacious garden, the complex houses a residential plot for the post master, a parcel hub, a postal store depot, a recreation club for the staff and a South Indian canteen.
The latest addition is an ATM run by India Post.
When visiting this heritage of Nagpur, don’t forget to have a look at the philately section. Stacked meticulously on the display racks are some of the finest philately products — tool boxes, mugs, books, calendars and key chains. You will also get to see the first day covers and brochures which you may collect for free if permitted. The philately bureau at Nagpur is one among seven such bureaus present in the Maharashtra circle.
The philately section here came into being on August 15, 1948.
You can even open your philately account and avail the benefit of collecting the latest commemorative stamps. Moreover, you can also get yourself printed on a stamp by paying a nominal fee. You may even gift your near and dear ones with stamps on their birthdays or marriage anniversaries.
Visitors can also take advantage of some of the saving schemes of the postal office as per their taste and liking. To list a few- The Time Deposit Account Scheme, Monthly Income Account Scheme, Senior Citizen Saving Scheme, Public Provident Fund Account Scheme, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samrudhi Yojana. More details regarding the schemes can be obtained from any government run post office of India.