By 1948, JRD Tata thought that the Taj Mahal Hotel had seen its best days and he wanted to build a new hotel nearby, where the yacht club stands. He wrote to then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, asking for that patch of land. But the government wanted it for a naval mess.
“The existing Taj Mahal hotel is nearly half a century old and will not serve the purpose of a hotel for more than five or 10 years,” Tata wrote, in a letter dated April 10, 1948, and signed as ‘Jeh’, the pet name by which he was familiarly known.
This letter is among several historical documents declassified by the governor’s office and now available as part of a public archive.
“In today’s age of knowledge revolution and right to information, I thought Raj Bhavan should also open up its vast treasure of information relating to Maharashtra to the people...,” governor K Sankaranarayanan said, via email to HT. “The archives will also help bridge critical gaps in information on issues of public interest.”