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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heritage postal buildings:
John Oakshott Robinson
Shortly to be released is a book I welcome, for it is yet another of those books that I see as ‘Biography as History', this time the biography being the story of an institution, the postal system with special reference to Tamil Nadu. Indian Postal History: Focus on Tamil Nadu is by K. Ramachandirann, Postmaster-General (Mail & Marketing),
Tamil Nadu Circle
, and is an expansion of his doctoral thesis.
Madras postal history has found mention in this column several times in the past, but Dr. Ramachandirann takes it further in his well-researched narration of the past. To this he has added much detail of the present. And, a host of illustrations.
Eight of those illustrations are what caught my eye. They are photographs of what he lists as postal heritage buildings. The eight include the Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay General Post Offices, the Nagapattinam, Udhagamandalam and Agra Head Post Offices, the Chief PMG's Office, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Mount Road Post Office that is now the Philatelic Bureau. The first three date to 1868, 1884 and 1913, respectively, while Nagapattinam dates to 1857, Ooty to 1884 and Mount Road (initially Narasingapuram Post Office) to 1915. All of them could do with restoration — including Madras, where some kind of restoration was done after the fire of 2000. Will this story of a nearly 300-year-old service lead to restoration of these eight buildings and the scores more of postal buildings that could well be considered of heritage significance?
By S. MUTHIAH ( Source: The Hindu)

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