Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 22:
The Director General (DG) of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has finally approved the design of the box-type portal frame for providing long lasting protection to the fragile Jagamohana (the prayer hall adjoining the sanctum sanctorum) of the Sri Jagannath temple-the 12th-century shrine in Odisha’s holy town Puri.
The ASI stated this through an affidavit it submitted before the Orissa High Court today. It has claimed that it received the DG’s approval on December 19. It has stated that the state government’s Works department will execute the repair work under ASI’s supervision.
On the other hand, the High Court has directed the state government to submit an affidavit in connection with Jagamohana’s repair. The Court has asked the government to state about grants towards Jagamohana repair in the affidavit. The Court has fixed January 3 as the next date of hearing on the matter.
Notably, the High Court had directed the ASI to submit an affidavit giving details of the design approved for the repair of the Jagamohana and when repair works would be completed.
It may be recalled here that the ASI had told the state government and the Sri Mandir administration that it will not be responsible if any mishap happens during the repair of Jagmohana.
The structural engineers, who are part of the ASI’s local committee, were not sharing the views of the ASI on the repair and conservation pertaining to the Jagmohan.
In a letter to the ASI’s Superintending Archaeologist (Bhubaneswar), the archaeological body’s Joint Director-General, New Delhi, had made it clear, saying that “…before finalisation of the design of foundation for the portal frame proposed to be placed below floor level, it should be ensured from all stakeholders by getting a written statement that there shall be no danger to the stability of the Jagmohana structure by opening the floor for foundation, and the entire onus in this regard will be of the structural engineers and the ASI will not be answerable for any unexpected structural movement subsequent to introduction of such an intervention”.