A 150-meter long underground British-era bunker, that had been closed for several decades, was discovered by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao inside the Raj Bhavan complex at Malabar Hill this week.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the governor visited the place yesterday and the CM even tweeted a video of their visit. Following their visit, the Governor expressed his intention to consult experts from various fields to preserve it.
About three months ago, when old-timers informed the Governor about the existence of a tunnel inside Raj Bhavan, the Governor asked to get it opened.
On August 12, when the staff of the Public Works Department at Raj Bhavan broke open a temporary wall that closed the entrance to the bunker on the Eastern side, they were surprised. Instead of an underground tunnel, an entire barrack with 13 rooms of different sizes was found. The bunker opens with a 20-ft tall gate and a ramp on the Western side. There are long passages and small to medium rooms on either side.
The bunker is spread over an area of more than 5,000 square feet has rooms bearing the names Shell Store, Gun Shell, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Pump, Workshop etc. There are also scores of Lamp Recesses in the gangway.
Even though the Bunker was apparently closed after Independence, it was found to be surprisingly intact. Interestingly, the entire underground bunker has a drainage system and inlets for fresh air and light.
The Raj Bhavan, formerly known as ‘Government House’ served as the residence of British Governors since 1885 when Lord Reay turned it into a permanent residence. Prior to 1885, it served as the Summer Residence of the British Governors. The Government House at Parel served as the Governor’s residence before 1885.
Maharashtra Raj Bhavan is built on lush green 50 acres of land at Malabar Hill, lashed by Arabian Sea on three sides. It has its own private beach and a mile long forest.
In October 2010, a huge and well-maintained tunnel believed to be over two centuries old was discovered in the premises of Mumbai GPO.
With inputs from IANSBack to latest news