A commemorative postage stamp on the Bicentenary of the Bombay GPO :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 28, 1994
Issued for : Bombay GPO combines the glory of a historical tradition and the virtue of modern technology, and is part of the life-line of the city. The Department is proud of this Post Office, vying in pace with the people of Bombay, and, as a testimonial to its service, brings out a commemorative postage stamp on its Bi–Centenary.
Stamp and Cancellation : Prof. M. G. Rajadhyaksha, Dean, J.J. School of Arts, Bombay.
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Watermark : No
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 600 Paise
Stamp Overall Size : 2.90 x 7.82 cms.
Stamp Print Size : 2.90 x 7.82 cms.
Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5
Paper : Matt Chromo Indigenous
Stamps Printed : 1 Million in sheets of 20
Printer : Calcutta Security Printers Ltd., Kanpur
Printing Process : Photo Offset
- The General Post Office of Bombay was established in 1794 by the then appointed Postmaster General for Bombay Presidency, Mr. Charles Elphinstone. Before that, Bombay 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.
- 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 Madras and Bombay was inaugurated in the following year but Bombay GPO took still more time.
- By the time the Indian Post Office was recognised as a separate organisation in 1854, Bombay GPO, over a half-a-century old, had grown into an impressive hub of written communication.
- In those days, this GPO was housed in a congeries 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 12,000 square metres of work-space in two floors. This edifice situated in the heart of the 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.
- Bombay GPO is now the biggest Post Office in the country and one of the biggest in the world. It catered to over 50,000 address sites by 1994, most of which were 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. [All the information given here are during the issuance of this stamp i.e. 1994].