Mumbai: The headquarters of the postal department, the GPO (General Post Office) building dedicated its grand dome, which has been retrofitted and renovated, to the citizenry on Friday.
The heritage building of Mumbai GPO has been under restoration since 2020. This magnificent architectural feature is the country's second-largest dome, after the Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur.
The event was scheduled to coincide with the 110th anniversary of the GPO's construction. As per reports from Times of India, rather than inviting celebrities, Swati Pandey, postmaster general of the Mumbai region, asked the postmen and women who work in the building to release 110 tricolour balloons into the sky at the inauguration.
The primary dome is a steel and concrete composite structure that had deteriorated due to weathering and corrosion, Pandey said, adding that this was the first time that they are undertaking a full repair and restoration of GPO.
Construction of the inner portion of dome in progress
The external dome has been completed while the inner portion is in progress, she said adding that the three-phase repair of the GPO building is expected to be completed by the year 2025.
The dome is located directly above the familiar central hall, where hundreds of customers visit each day and scores of employees work. It has a diameter of 65 feet, which is roughly half the size of the Gol Gumbaz, which has a diameter of 125 feet. It is surrounded by 64 inverted lotus petals.
In 1902, renowned British architect John Begg designed the GPO building in Indo-Saracenic style. On September 1, 1904, construction started. It was finished on March 31, 1913, at a cost of Rs 18 lakh.
The GPO moved into the new building April 12, 1913. With the introduction of the Postal Index Number (PIN) system in the early 1970s, it got the number 400001.
The GPO building’s past is synonymous with the growth and development of efficient means of communications in the country’s commercial capital and the rest of India.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)