Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 7:

The Jagamohana of Sri Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri would be handed over to the Works department by Thursday after completion of grouting, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) today told the Orissa High Court through an affidavit.

The Works department would then take up fixing of stainless steel portal frames in the Jagamohana.

Conducting a hearing on a PIL pertaining to conservation and repair of Jagamohana, a division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dr B R Sarangi directed the ASI and the state government to submit status reports on Jagamohana repair through fresh affidavits latest by March 15.

Complying with the High Court’s earlier order for submission of status report, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s Bhubaneswar Circle A H Nayak today stated in the affidavit that the ASI has already provided Rs 3,71,71,255 to the Works department by January 31, 2017, as per estimate for stainless steel portal framing job.

The ASI apprised the High Court that certain obstacles inside the Jagamohana have been removed to facilitate fixing of the portal frame as well as for stainless steel cladding of major stone pillars.

Stones have been removed from the Jagamohana’s floor for fixing of the base of the portal frame. These jobs will be completed by Wednesday and the place would be handed over to the Works department for fixing of the portal frame, the ASI told the court.

The ASI informed the court that the repair of the roof of the kurumabeda is in progress. While work on the southern, eastern and western sides was complete, work on the northern side is in progress, it added.

Substantial progress has been made in stainless steel pocket framing as work in six out of seven pockets has been completed, while it is in progress on the pocket on the western side the ASI told the court adding that de-plastering and conservation work has been completed up to the outer wall of the Jagamohana.

Similarly, damaged stones have been replaced and chemical cleaning and treatment of de-plastered walls, roof and seven pockets have been completed, the ASI has informed the court.

The ASI has, however, told the court that though old damaged stones have been replaced with new stones, no changes have been made to the original design and structure.  The court has fixed March 16 as the next date for hearing on the matter.

The court has fixed March 16 as the next date for hearing on the matter.

It may be mentioned here that the Works department on January 5 this year had through an affidavit informed the High Court steel portal frame would be completed by June 5 this year.

Since Snana Purnima falls on June 9 this year the Works department told the court that repair of the Jagamohana would be completed four days ahead of that.

However, the division bench had directed that the repair should be completed before the end of May, 2017 since it requires a lot of preparations ahead of Snana Utsav ritual.