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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 17:

The dispute between the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the Archaeological Society of India (ASI) over the progress of work with regard to the repair and conservation of Jagamohana (prayer hall adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum) of the 12th-century shrine in Odisha’s holy town Puri is increasing.

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While the ASI has claimed that the 80 percent of repair works has been completed, it has been refuted by the SJTA.

The fact came to light on submission of an additional affidavit by the SJTA during a hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) with regard to Jagamohana repair at the Orissa High Court.

The SJTA has alleged that no repairs have been undertaken in the main structure of the Jagamohana. The affidavit filed by the SJTA said that only removal of lime plaster; repair of Jagamohana drain and its grouting have been completed.

“During the last hearing ASI had stated that 80% of the work has been completed and a little work remained to be completed. Today we submitted an affidavit completely refuting the claim. We pointed out that while the pillars, columns, and beams of the Jagamohana have been damaged, nothing substantial have been done for their conservation. The ASI has only undertaken traditional repairs like grafting, filling, de-plastering and sealing of joints,” informed SJTA’s counsel Subrata Satpathy speaking to reporters here.

The court has, however, directed the ASI to submit an affidavit with details of works that are pending and that which have been completed.

The court has fixed August 29 as the next date of hearing in the matter.