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
By the time the Indian Post office was recognised GPO, over
half-a-century old, had grown into an impressive hub of written
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.
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.
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.
GPO combines the glory of a historical tradition and the virtue
of modern technology, and is part of the life-line of the city.