Heritage postal stamps feature Shimla GPO

May 14, 2010 08:43 pm | Updated 08:44 pm IST - SHIMLA:

More than a century old building of Shimla General Post Office has figured in the set of six commemorative postage stamps brought out by the India Posts in London on Friday.

A series of postage stamps, showing postal inheritance and legacy, are to be released to herald INDIPEX 2011-World Philatelic exhibition to be held in Delhi from 12th to 18th February, said the Postal authorities.

The Shimla GPO building which finds place in the first set of postal heritage buildings was established in the year 1883 and is located on the famous Mall Road here. The site was initially known as “Conny Lodge” and was purchased from one Mr Peterson in early 1880s. Mr F. Dalton was the first Postmaster of Shimla (then Simla) GPO and Mr A.K. Hazari was the first Postmaster of Indian origin after independence.

The old three storeyed GPO building built with local timber and stone in old English hill architectural style is a model of Wild West Gothic structural design. The building was renovated for the first time in 1972 when a massive fire broke out in the ground floor destroying many a heritage records. It was again given a facelift in 1992 when the building was declared as one of the few heritage post offices in the country. The traditional outer appearance was changed in 2009 and the post office was modernised with top end facilities under the venture Project Arrow.

The old timers of Shimla had strongly objected with the Department of Posts when last year the age old colour scheme of Simla GPO was changed to the universal red and white format adopted by the department in a central government decision lately. All post offices in the summer capital of Raj are painted in red and white much to the displeasure of environment activists and old residents. The Chief Postmaster General office here did not reverse the central decision despite registration of protests by the local citizens and media.

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