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Diorama of Dandi March at Panaji museum soon
July, 28th 2011

Visitors to the Customs and Central Excise Museum will soon be able to see a diorama of Mahatma Gandhi's famous Dandi March at a unique showcase of its kind in the country.

"The work on installing the diorama is in progress and more galleries are being set up," additional commissioner, Chandrakant Valvi said.

The 3D depiction of the Dandi March, which was a consequence of resistance to the levy of tax on salt by the British regime, is significant for another reason. The Central Excise Act was originally called the Central Excise and Salt Act. The diorama is expected to weave a little history into the evolution of the central excise levy.

The museum showcases an array of seized goods, antiques and customs heritage. It was inaugurated and thrown open by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on July 25, 2009. It was shut "as per schedule" in September, 2009 and reopened in November, 2010. Officials had denied that the closure was due to an electrical short circuit fire near the entrance, as reported by TOI then.

The museum, in the heart of Panaji, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm.

Another existing diorama depicts aspects of the Harappan civilization. "We are also trying to put up a narcotics gallery, showing narcotics seized before and after independence and the modus operandi used by narcotics smugglers," an official said.

More installations including a gallery on international customs are planned during the second phase, which is estimated to cost around Rs 65 lakh.

The customs and central excise commission is also installing a round-the-clock security system at the museum in the blue heritage building. "The five-guard system will operate round-the-clock," an official said. A tender has already been floated to elicit bids from interested parties.

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