Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:
Odisha government today urged the Centre to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to send its best technical experts to undertake the repair and restoration of the Jagamohan of Shri Jagannath temple here.
In a letter to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “I seek your personal intervention to direct the ASI to send their best technical experts in the matter and proceed to take up repair and restoration works at the earliest.”
Patnaik stated that the Jagmohan of Shri Jagannath Temple, the holiest shrine in Odisha and an institution of unique importance in India, has developed several cracks. After deplastering of the inner surface of the Jagmohan, it was was noticed that the four column capitals and the eight stone beams have serious cracks which might affect its structural stability.
“A core committee comprising structural engineers, representatives of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), to suggest remedial measures. The committee had inspected the structure on February 7 and recommended for providing additional support to the beams immediately for preventing further damage to the Jagamohan,” Patnaik added.
Notably, the stone column capital on the north-west side, on which the Jagamohan’s ceiling rests, has developed a crack and a stone block is hanging out of it dangerously, posing the risk of a major accident.
This stone column capital is five feet in length, four feet in breadth and is three feet thick. It approximately weighs around 4.5 tonnes. In case of this stone column collapsing, it’s apprehended that the entire Jagamohan will cave in.
During removal of dead plaster, four stone blocks have got dislodged from their position in the ceiling of the Jagamohan. Cracks have been observed in the ceiling where lime plasters have been removed.
In the meantime, the two stone blocks which had got dislodged from their position in the ceiling of the Jagamohan have been reinforced using steel brackets as a temporary measure.