Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 20:
An eight-member expert team comprising Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials and members of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today inspected the ventilation system in the Garvagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri town.
The team headed by Dr AP Gupta, former head of Civil Engineering Department of IIT-Kharagpur, examined the ventilation system installed inside the sanctum sanctorum to minimise the heat generated inside it.
Notably, the heat generated inside the temple is posing a threat to the idols inside the 12th century shrine.
As the presiding deities of the temple have left for a nine-day sojourn with the beginning of Rath Yatra, it is the opportune time to undertake the conservation activities inside the sanctum sanctorum, an official said.
Earlier in March last year, former Odisha Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra in a letter to Union Culture Secretary Rabindra Singh had expressed concerns over the tardy progress of conservation works in the Jagannath Temple undertaken by ASI.
“The pace of progress and urgency to complete the conservation works by the ASI appears to be sluggish. You are aware that we have a fairly tight time schedule in view of the Nabakalebar Festival scheduled in July, 2015. The nagging problem of humidity and temperature inside the Garvagriha also remains unresolved,” noted former Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra in a letter to Union Culture Secretary Rabindra Singh, last year.
Besides, Puri Gajapati Maharaja Sri Dibyasingha Deb had also advised the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee and the technical advisory committee for conservation of the Jagannath temple to look into the matter. Though a ventilation system in the sanctum sanctorum was set up, the noise generated from the device forced the authorities to stop operating it. Moreover, there was a technical flaw that forced the temple authorities to uninstall the ventilation system.