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Odishatv Bureau

Puri: The inspection of Puri Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar, the chamber containing Lord Jagannath’s treasure trove, will be done after seeking opinion of Chhatisa Nijog and permission of State government, informed chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Pradeep Jena after a meeting of the Ratna Bhandar Sub-Committee on Monday.

As per the instruction of the Orissa High Court, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will only assess the structural condition of the chamber and there is no intention whatsoever to inspect any articles or other things inside Ratna Bhandar, therefore people should not fall prey to any confusion over it, said Jena.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be followed while entering Ratna Bhandar and a meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog will be called for thorough consultation, he added.

"No one will touch any jewellery or other articles inside Ratna Bhandar as no instruction has been given for inspection of the same. Only visual inspection of the wall and roof will be conducted," said Jena.

Including the SJTA Chief Administrator, the meeting of the Ratna Bhandar Sub-Committee was attended by Puri Collector Aravinda Agarwal, SP Sarthak Sarangi, secretary of Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, ASI authorities, Bhandar Mekap and Chhatisa Nijog Nayak.

On the other hand, a five-member team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) inspected it from outside on Tuesday. The officials reviewed the structure of the chamber from Jagamohan and Navikata Mandap sides.

Meanwhile ASI officials have said they cannot assess the entire structural condition of the Ratna Bhandar until they see it from inside.

"As the committee said, structural condition of Ratna Bhandar appears fine from outside but we cannot assess the entire structure till we get the permission to inspect the chamber from inside," said Archaeology Superintendent of ASI, Hemsagar Abhaya Nayak.

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