Bhubaneswar, Jan 15:
The restoration work of the world famous Jagannath Temple in Puri will be completed by the end of December this year, well ahead of the Nabakalebara in 2015, while the scaffolding around the 7th century temple will be removed before Rath Yatra this year.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level review meeting in the presence of Union Culture secretary Rabindra Singh here on Wednesday.
The Union Culture secretary directed the ASI officers present at the meeting to complete the repair and restoration of Singhadwar (Lion’s gate) of Jagannath temple by March this year.
Work on the joint sealing, grouting and repair of the Kalasa and Chakra of the Jagmohan of the temple was targeted to be completed by March this year while de-plastering will be done by June.
It was also decided that the surrounding flooring of the temple will be renovated so as to facilitate the devotees for smooth pradakshina (going around the main temple). As per the suggestions of the experts, around 70 percent of the flooring stones will be replaced.
The state government assured the authorities of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of all necessary minor mineral linkage for conservation and restoration work of the temple. It was decided that the state government would take necessary steps for the linkage after the ASI specifies the source of minor minerals required for restoration within a fortnight.
Matters relating to conservation of the Sun Temple in Konark and removal of sand inside the Mukhasala (entrance hall) were also discussed threadbare at the meeting.
It was revealed that investigation through laser scanning, GPR and loop holes technique have been completed. The ASI authorities will provide laser study data within 15 days after which the core committee consisting of archaeological experts will have a meeting under the chairmanship of Director General, ASI within a month to decide the future course of action.
“The core committee will suggest technical interventions necessary for conservation and the steps will be taken accordingly”, the chief secretary told newsmen after the meeting.
Chief administrator of Jagannath temple Arabinda Padhi, state Culture secretary Sanjeeb Mishra and officials of the ASI were present at the meeting.