Mumbai: 132-year-old tunnel discovered at JJ hospital

The tunnel is about 130 years old and must have been built during the British era. The Archaeological Department has been informed and further procedure is underway.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, November 04, 2022, 11:16 PM IST
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132-year-old tunnel discovered at JJ hospital. | Photo by Salman Ansari

Mumbai: A 200-metre-long tunnel has been discovered under the nursing complex of JJ Hospital in Mumbai's Byculla. The hospital is believed to have made the discovery two days ago while undertaking some digging work.

The tunnel is about 130 years old and must have been built during the British era. The Archaeological Department has been informed and further procedure is underway.

A hospital medic found a hole near the nursing college

Dr Arun Rathod, the resident medical officer said they were on normal rounds and found that there was some leakage on the rooftop and came down after which they saw a chamber with holes like ventilation in the building. Following the discovery, they removed the chamber and discovered a narrow path. “I went through the narrow path and saw the tunnel, however, we were not able to identify where it leads. We informed our senior officials and the same message was conveyed to the Collector,” he said. 

Dr Pallavi Saple, dean of JJ hospital said they knew about the tunnel but the exact location was unknown, now they have found out one end of the 130-year-old tunnel under the nursing college was then a delivery ward and it might have been used as a mother and child ward. Moreover, they have informed the archaeological department about the tunnel who will be doing a survey and gather more findings from the site. 

“Considering JJ hospital comes under heritage structure we immediately informed the archaeology department and collector office. Moreover, the tunnel is more like a chamber and for now, only one end has been found “ she said. 

JJ Hospital's first heritage walk started last month

The JJ Hospital organised its first heritage walk on October 10 which started from the old Grant Medical College (GMC) building which was built in 1845, followed by the place which includes ‘Room 000’ at the hospital, where acclaimed bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine had discovered the vaccine against bubonic plague in 1893. 

Moreover, in 2010, a 240-year-old tunnel was found under the St George’s Hospital which was used to ferry injured soldiers, arms and ammunitions and also as escape routes in the event of an attack.

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