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The General Post Office of Mumbai was established in 1794 by the then appointed Postmaster General for Mumbai Presidency, Mr. Charles Elphinstone.  Before that, Mumbai had only an agency Post Office, that the East India Company had brought into existence.All despatches of mail were brought in and delivered out of  that agency Post Office. 


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The East India Company was keen on overcoming the difficulty of establishing contacts with far-flung regions of the country under its occupation by establishing postal communication connecting the principal towns.  Lord Clive’s Minute of 1766 gave the lead.  But the first regular Post Office had to wait for Sir Warren Hastings, till 1774 when Calcutta GPO was established.  An overland route between Chennai and Mumbai was inaugurated in the following year but Mumbai GPO took still more time. 

 By the time the Indian Post office was recognised GPO, over half-a-century old, had grown into an impressive hub of written communication

In those days, this GPO was housed in a congerie of small buildings near the Apollo Pier.  These buildings were lost in a fire.  Following the fire, the GPO moved in 1869 into the building built for it.  In course of time, that building became inadequate for the GPO, and very early in this century, plans were already afoot for construction of a new building.  Mr. John Begg, Consulting Architect to the Government, was given the task.  He designed the present building, and was in charge of its construction, which took nine years from 1904.  In 1913, GPO moved into this building with 12000 square metres of work-space in two floors.  This edifice situated in the heart of city is a crowning heritage building.  It is in Indo-Saracenic style with a solid exterior, and well-ventilated and comfortable interiors.  The Department is earnest in conserving the building in its original form, in keeping with the heritage status.  

Mumbai GPO is now the biggest Post Office in the country and one of the biggest in the world.  It caters to over 50,000 address sites, most of which are recipients of voluminous mail. 

The Business Hall of the GPO is unique with 101 counter positions, following the addition of the 1200 square metre large Bi-Centenary Hall, and working from 0800 hrs. to 2300 hrs where all businesses of a post Office are transacted for some 25,000 people everyday.  A good number of counters are computer-run. 

Mumbai GPO combines the glory of a historical tradition and the virtue of modern technology, and is part of the life-line of the city.

 

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