Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Apr 7:
Worried over the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in taking up the repair work of the Sri Jagannath temple, chief administrator of the temple and secretary, Tourism and Culture Arvind Padhee has apprised the ASI director general of the gravity of the situation.
ASI authorities have allegedly been delaying the repair work by seeking refuge in excuses like absence of skilled worker, non-availability of quality stones for replacement of old ones and labour unrest etc.
According to reports, during his meeting in Delhi Padhee told the ASI DG that while a decision was taken to open a 24-hour ASI camp office in Puri to expedite the repair work, no official was posted to take care of it.
He informed the ASI chief that for the Chandan Yatra scheduled to begin from May 2, the Lords need to be taken in a palanquin to the Narendra Tank for which removal of iron barricade at the entrance gate (Simhadwara) is necessary.
Pointing out that the repair work of the Simhadrawra roof top is going on at a snail’s pace, Padhee asked the ASI chief to intervene in the matter at the earliest lest the performance of the Lords’ annual ritual gets severely affected.
Padhee also met the Union Tourism secretary Girishankar to seek his help in taking adequate steps to strengthen the tourism infrastructure in Puri for the ensuing Nabakalebara festival, considering that there will be a massive footfall of tourists from the state and abroad to witness the rare event.
The Union secretary assured Padhi that he would sincerely take up the matter very soon, sources said.