In pics: British-era bunker discovered under Maharashtra Raj Bhavan
On August 12, officials of the public works department (PWD) broke open the wall blocking the entrance to the bunker, only to find a barrack with 13 rooms.mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2016 15:13 IST
Officials at the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan have discovered a 150m-long underground colonial bunker right under the governor’s official office-cum-residence at Malabar Hill, Mumbai.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was given a tour of the bunker by governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Tuesday, posted pictures to his Twitter account, revealing a fairly well-preserved structure, complete with living quarters.
Officials made the discovery last Friday when they pulled down a temporary wall inside the Raj Bhavan complex after old employees told Rao of a tunnel on the premises three months ago.
The public works department broke through the wall blocking the entrance to the bunker, finding a barrack with 13 rooms – Shell Store, Gun Shell, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Pump, Workshop to name some.
Spread across 5,000 square feet, the bunker begins at a 20-ft tall gate, with a ramp leading off to long passages that opens into small and medium sized rooms, a Raj Bhavan official said. There are also scores of lamp recesses in the gangway to allow better illumination, while a drainage system and inlets facilitates fresh air and light.
“We were afraid of snakes, but we didn’t find a single insect in the bunker,” a senior official requesting anonymity said.
Rao is now considering consulting with experts to conserve the structure.
The Raj Bhavan, formerly known as Government House, served as the residence for British governors from 1885 onwards after Lord Reay turned it into a permanent residence.
Prior to 1885, it served as a summer residence for British governors while the Government House at Parel served as the official residence.