Ramakanta Biswas

There are many cracks in the Jagmohan of Srimandir in Puri which need to be repaired immediately, the Orissa High Court appointed amicus curie NK Mohanty told the court on Tuesday.

Mohanty submitted an affidavit to the court highlighting his visit to the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri and Sun Temple in Konark and stated that he is not satisfied with the repair and restoration works.

"During discussion in the meeting held on September 17, 2022 in the office of the Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Administration and ASI Bhubaneswar Circle, Head Mallick has placed the report of IIT Madras about the crack beam of Nata Manda. In this report, we found that the restoration work of the crack beam is in urgent need. This work is pending to be attended by ASI from August, 2018 till date," the amicus curie stated in his affidavit.

The study report of IIT Madras says the beams which have been completely cracked are now working as a cantilever which means it cannot take any load of the roof, Mohanty told the court.

"Many distressed location on first and second pidha layers of Jagamohan (outside slopping corbelled zones) and on Amalakas/Kalasa of buttressing pilli temples were observed on the date of inspection September 17, 2022. These distress are mostly in the form of wide structural cracks, localized dislodgement of stone blocks and detached weak lime plasters including extensive corrosion of existing wrought iron clamps. These distressed locations are on the eastern and south eastern coma of Jagamohana, which are visible from the roof top of Nata Mandap," the affidavit added. 

As regards to Konark Sun Temple, the works of removal of sand from the Jagmohan is already commenced, Mohanty told a bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Chitta Ranjan Dash.    

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is undertaking the repair works which are expected to be completed by March 31, 2023.  
The amicus curie said that three years back ASI on December 23, 2019 had assured that the repair works will be completed within four months. “But things are as it is today. With the court’s intervention, they (ASI) now promised to complete it by March 2023,” he told the court. 

The amicus curie has also requested the court that the matter to be kept on board for the court to monitor the progress of the work.

The court has scheduled the next hearing in the matter on January 5, 2023.

(With inputs from Gautam Panda, OTV)