‘Renovated Customs office to be developed as museum’

The renovated Customs office at Old Port in Mangaluru.

The 133-year-old renovated Customs office building at Old Port in the city will be developed into a Mangaluru and Karnataka-centric museum in the future, Chief Commissioner of Customs Bengaluru zone A K Jyotishi said.

Speaking at the inauguration of renovated Customs office on Tuesday, he said memorabilia, rare photographs and antiques related to Mangaluru and also those in possession of Customs will be displayed prominently at the renovated Customs House (earlier name of Customs office)In the first phase, the old dilapidated building has been renovated at a cost of Rs 89.46 lakh, he added.

Jyotishi appealed to the citizens of Mangaluru to give away unused memorabilia and antiques lying in their house to the Customs which will be showcased at the renovated Customs office.

"Further, a display board with QR code will be placed outside the renovated building to help visitors scan the QR code and learn about the history of the building."

The renovated building will be made vibrant and included in tourist circuit in the future. The building is a testimony to history and preserving such heritage building is a difficult task, he said.

The land for the office was acquired in 1886 and a building was constructed catering to the needs of the trade activities of the region. It was known as Customs House till 1976 after which it was renamed as Customs office.

The building has been renovated by retaining its original roof and structure. The works taken up include strengthening of roof, wooden beam, foundation, concealed electric wiring, cement plastering of the walls, repair of wooden windows, new septic tank, repair of toilets among others. An iron treasury has been kept intact in the building.

The renovation of Customs office is the brainchild of Dr M Subramanyam, commissioner of GST Audit, Bengaluru.

Subramanyam said he got the inspiration for renovation work from the spirit of the people of Mangaluru and their ways of connecting with their roots. There is a need to showcase the history of building and the economy of Mangaluru in the past. A special cover (postal) needs to be released to commemorate the event, he added.

Central Public Works department South Zone Chief Engineer S N Rai and Commissioner of Customs Mangaluru Commissionerate Parag C Borkar were present.

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