Odishatv Bureau

Puri: The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to inspect the structural condition Puri Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar.

Asking the survey agency to file its findings through an affidavit, the court directed the ASI officials to carry out an detail study of the structural status of the Ratna Bhandar where all the gold and other valuables of Lord Jagannath  are kept in safe custody.

As per the directions, the ASI has been asked to conduct a detailed study of the Ratna Bhandar on March 26 and 27 while the next hearing in this regard has been scheduled to be held on March 29.

The Court's directive comes after ASI in its affidavit had sought permission to assess of the condition of the Ratna Bhandar before undertaking repair works of Nata Mandap.

The decision to undertake inspection of Ratna Bhandar was also taken during the first meeting of the newly reconstituted temple management committee held on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of Jagannath Sena activists took to streets in front of the Singhadwara of Srimandir in protest of the decision of the temple authority to open the Ratna Bhandar and cited the move as an attempt to explore the treasure in the name of inspection.

Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has filed an affidavit at the High Court seeking Non Objection Certificate (NOC) from the ASI on the completion of the Jagamohan repair works.

In the affidavit, the SJTA has stated that after the ASI submits the NOC, the Jagamohan will be reopened after Rath Yatra this year.