A 150-metre long underground bunker, which existed since the British era has been discovered by Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao inside the Raj Bhavan complex at Malabar Hill in Mumbai. After visiting the bunker along with his wife Vinodha, the Governor expressed his intention to consult experts from various fields to preserve it. The Governor had told the officials that he is interested in learning the full history behind the existence of the bunker. Meanwhile, the Governor had issued orders to get the bunker opened after he got a tip off from the old-timers a few months ago. He was reportedly told about the presence of a tunnel inside the Raj Bhavan.
Bunker had ventilation spots
In the meantime, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took to Twitter and posted a tweet with the message that tunnel originates from a big workshop type area built with lots of ventilation and drainage area. He also posted several pictures includes a video which he captured during his visit to the bunker.
Fadnavis termed the discovery as amazing. He also posted that the bunker is 150 meters long 3 meters wide with a height of around 12 feet. He also revealed that the tunnel has several spaces created on both sides to store arms and ammunitions.
Experts called to unravel the mystery behind the bunker
The Chief Minister, who is himself a tech savvy person, also shared the information that assistance of experts is being called to demystify the history of the tunnel. Moreover, the Governor has already spoken to President of India about the new discovery.
Commenting on the development, an official Raj Bhavan spokesperson disclosed that the staff of the Public Works Department at Raj Bhavan broke open a temporary wall on August 12. The wall was situated near the entrance to the bunker on the eastern side. However, instead of an underground tunnel, an entire barrack with 13 rooms of various sizes was found by the officials.
With a 20-feet tall gate, the bunker opens a ramp on the western side. The officials also revealed that there are long passages ranging from small to medium rooms on either side.
Bunker spread across 5000 square feet
Upon inspection, the bunker was spread over an area of over 5000 square feet with rooms bearing the name Shell Store, Gun Shell, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Pump, and Workshop. There are several lamp recesses in the gangway. Even though there were rumors that the bunker was apparently closed after independence, it was found to be intact without any damages.
Furthermore, the entire underground bunker has an integrated comprehensive drainage system with inlets for fresh air and light.
According to the history, the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan, formerly called as Government House served as the official residence of British Governors since 1885. However, Lord Reay turned the complex into a permanent residence. Before 1885, the Malabar Hill residence was the official summer residence of the British Governors. Meanwhile, the Government House at Parel had served as the Governor’s residence before 1885.