Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, May 16:
While emotions ran high in Odisha over reports of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Director General (DG) rejecting a proposal sent by the technical core committee of the Shree Jagannath Temple with regard to repair of the Jagamohana (the prayer hall adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum) of the temple, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today refuted the reports.
“Two reports have been received in the context of repair of Shree Mandir’s Jagamohana. While one report is by the local technical core committee, the other is by the National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras. The fact that the ASI has rejected the report sent by the local technical core committee is false. As per report available with me nowhere there is mention of it being rejected. Neither of the proposals has been rejected by the ASI. Both the proposals are being studied by the ASI,” said Pradhan speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma, ASI DG Rajesh Tiwari,Union secretary Culture, BJP MLA from Rourkela Dilip Ray and several senior officials of the Union Culture department at his residence here.
“It was decided at today’s meeting that a high-level committee headed by the Union Culture secretary will visit Puri to ascertain facts and also hold discussions with the state government and all other stakeholders. The team will also include DG ASI, other senior officers, and engineers of IIT Madras. They will also consult expert faculty from IIT Bhubaneswar and NIT Rourkela on the structural aspects of the temple. The committee will sit with the state chief secretary and prepare a blueprint. The main objective of which will be Jagamohana’s repair. There won’t be a dearth of funds for the purpose,” he added.
Similar views were expressed by the Union Culture Minister.
“A high-level committee headed by the Culture secretary will soon visit Puri. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has spoken to the state chief secretary in this regard. Experts from IIT Madras will participate in the meeting. Whatever decision is taken at the meeting will be soon implemented. We are not neglecting Jagamohana’s repair in any way neither there is a scarcity of funds for it,” said Sharma briefing reporters.
“Prime Minister has stressed on Shree Mandir Jagamohana’s repair. The delay in the repair work was for some technical reasons. We were waiting for the report from IIT Madras. The report has come. Now work will progress,” he added.
Sharma said: “There is no danger to Shree Mandir. But the ASI wants it to be done in a technically sound manner. The job will be done by ASI’s experienced engineers. Repair work will begin very soon. We are also examining the proposal sent by Prof G C Mitra, working chairman of the technical core committee.”
“There is no scope for failure in this since we have obtained a report from IIT Madras and are working accordingly. We don’t see any scope for failure in this and are sure to arrive at a solution on this after consulting technical experts from IITs and other institutions,” said Rajesh Tiwari, DG ASI, who was in the firing line for alleged rejection of the technical core committee’s proposal with regard to repair of the Jagamohana.