Temple admin, ASI spar over Jagmohan condition

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Bhubaneswar: Even as the expert committee is yet to submit its report on Jagmohan, the hall facing the 12th century shrine, officials of the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Friday came up with conflicting versions about its condition.

While the SJTA authorities, during a joint meeting here, stressed that the hall is in urgent need of renovation, the ASI officials said there is nothing to panic.

“The Jagmohan is not at all in a safe condition, because there are a large number of cracks in it. Besides, stones are falling from the pockets of the hall intermittently, which shows the state of the hall,” SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra said.

ASI officials, however, had an altogether different take on the matter.

“The work is going on as part of a routine conservation. I think the cracks which have developed in the hall need joint filling. But this is not an alarming situation and there is nothing to panic,” RS Jamwal, Superintending Engineer, ASI, said.

Though the ways to mend the unsafe portions and dilapidated ceilings of the Jagmohan are yet to be decided, a technical advisor of the temple said that the life span of the hall can be increased through steel binding technique.

“The cracks, which have developed in the hall over a period of some years, can be repaired by joint filling with the help of stainless steel rods. On top of it, a laminate will be put on the basement of these cracks to strengthen the steel bindings. These two techniques will certainly help increase the life span of the hall,” Binod Padhy, member of Srimandir Technical Committee, said.

Sources said the expert committee will submit its observation report to the SJTA within 3-4 days. Based on its suggestions, the Core Committee will work out an estimate.

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