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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

At Raj Bhavan: President unveils 15,000-sq-ft bunker museum

The museum is likely to be opened for public in October. Raj Bhavan officials will start an online booking facility for the museum.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2019 02:27 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The president also underwent an audio-visual session, detailing the history of Raj Bhavan, at a virtual reality booth at the museum.
The president also underwent an audio-visual session, detailing the history of Raj Bhavan, at a virtual reality booth at the museum. (HT image)
         

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday inaugurated the British-era underground bunker museum at the Raj Bhavan, and laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the governor’s office-cum-residence building, ‘Jal Bhushan’.

The museum is likely to be opened for public in October. Raj Bhavan officials will start an online booking facility for the museum.

After being hidden for more than six decades, the bunkers were discovered in August 2016. Spread across 15,000 square feet, the museum has retained the original features of the bunkers, and will provide citizens with a history of the Raj Bhavan as well as Maharashtra’s rich martial heritage using holographic projection technology.

The president also underwent an audio-visual session, detailing the history of Raj Bhavan, at a virtual reality booth at the museum. “Through the virtual booth, people will be able to enjoy the live experience of canon-firing. The idea is to show tourists how canons were used to prevent any attack by the enemies by carrying out counter-attacks,” said a Raj Bhavan official.

“We’ve also planned to give citizens a glimpse of popular forts of Maharashtra and how the freedom movement unfolded here. We will be promoting forts tourism and also educate people about the freedom struggle,” he said. With a 20-foot tall majestic gate and 13 rooms, the structure resembles a fort towards the entrance. There will be audio commentary that will detail the history and how the bunker was restored.

“The bunker had rooms with names such as shell store, gun shell, cartridge store, shell lift, pump, central artillery store, workshop, etc. The entire bunker had a proper drainage system and inlets for fresh air and light. After conducting the structural audit, the bunker’s structural strengthening was carried out. The works included water-proofing and grouting, electrification, air-conditioning and curation of the museum,” said another official.

Later, the president laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of ‘Jal Bhushan’, which has been the official residence of governors since 1885 in the British era, when the ‘Government House’ or governor’s house was shifted from Parel to Malabar Hill. After Independence, the bungalow has served as the residence of Indian governors and from 1960, as the residence of governors of Maharashtra, after the state came into being.

First Published: Aug 19, 2019 00:21 IST