Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on Wednesday received a setback from the Orissa High Court in connection with the restoration work of the Jagamohan of the Srimandir in Puri. 

The High Court, while hearing the case today rejected the affidavit earlier submitted by the ASI regarding the repair of the Jagamohan. The High Court termed the affidavit incomplete and directed the former to submit a fresh and comprehensive affidavit on the matter.

Hence, the ASI has withdrawn its affidavit from the High Court. 

Notably, the ASI has been carrying out the repair and restoration of the Jagamohan since 2017; however, a delay was alleged.

The High Court sought to know from the ASI about the reasons for the delay in repair and how far works have progressed from 2017 till date. The next hearing of the case will be held on November 15, 2023. 

As per sources, the ASI, citing a reason for the delay in the repair of the Jagamohan, said that the IIT-Madras has been contacted about the design of a cantilever, which will be used during the repair of Jagamohan. 

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After the finalization of the design of the cantilever by the IIT Madras, the technical core committee of the ASI will give its approval and then the repair work will be carried forward, it was stated in the affidavit.

The High Court-appointed amicus curiae, N K Mohanty, in his report to the court on August 15, 2023, had told the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) that the Nata Mandap and the Jagamohan were in a critical state and anything could happen at any moment. 

The amicus curiae’s report was based on a petition filed regarding the safety of the Nata Mandap and the Jagamohan.

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