Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
Concerned over the sluggish pace of conservation work at the Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha government has shot off a letter to Union Culture ministry urging it to expedite the restoration and renovation works undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the 12th century holy Hindu shrine.
In a letter to the Union Culture secretary Rabindra Singh, Odisha chief secretary J K Mohapatra said “The pace of progress and urgency to complete the conservation works by the ASI appear 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 Garva Griha (sanctum sanctorum) also remains unresolved”.
The chief secretary has requested the Culture ministry to advise the DG (ASl), Director (Conservation), Director (Science) and other senior officials of ASI to expedite the works and resolve all issues relating to conservation of Jagannath temple.
This year, annual Rath Yatra falls on June 29 and inspection of Garva Griha has been scheduled at 10 a.m. on July 2 and representatives of ASI in the two technical committees formed for the conservation of the 12th century monument should participate in the joint inspection of the Garva Griha, insisted Mohapatra in his letter.
It may be mentioned here that conducting inspections, carrying routine conservation work and emergency rectification works inside the Garva Griha are possible during the annual 12-day Rath Yatra when the interior parts of the temple are available for such exercise.
The Odisha government anticipates a huge crowd similar to Kumbh Mela during the Nabakalebar Festival of Lord Jagannath next year, sources said.