Bhubaneswar/Puri, Jan 15:
In order to expedite conservation and renovation of the 12th century Sri Jagannath temple, the Centre on Tuesday assured the Odisha government that it will set up a dedicated office of Archaeological Survey of India in Puri.
“I have been assured by the Union secretary of Culture that a dedicated office of the ASI will be set up at Puri,” Aravind Padhee, chief administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) said on Tuesday.
Padhee, while speaking to newsmen, said the assurance has come from the Union Culture secretary Ravindra Singh at a meeting he had with him in Puri.
Singh who was also present at the briefing said, “The temple administration has informed me about the conservation issues of the ancient shrine. Sri Jagannath Temple is an important place and we will do whatever is required for its conservation”.
Singh assured that the conservation work of the temple will be completed before the Nabakalebar of the Lords in 2015.
He also visited the Sun Temple at Konark and took a close look at the conservation work being undertaken by the ASI there.
The state government had, on several occasions earlier, expressed concern over the slow pace of conservation work in the Jagannath temple and raised the issue with the Centre.
The ASI was accorded the task of protecting the temple complex in 1974-75.
However, the state government is of the opinion that the ASI has been going slow on the conservation work at the Jagannath temple in Puri and the Sun Temple in Konark.