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Vikash Sharma

New Delhi: Allaying concerns and refuting media reports regarding the structural stability of the Konark Sun Temple, Union Culture Minister, Mahesh Sharma today categorically stated that there is absolutely ‘no threat’ to the world heritage structure in Odisha.

After discussing the issue with a delegation from Odisha at a high-level meeting held at New Delhi today, Sharma said “Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee which is one of the premier institutes in the country has certified that there is no threat to Konark Sun Temple. If suggestion comes, we can go for inspection by any other agency also.”

Sharma further informed that a meeting will be held in Bhubaneswar on December 10 and a detailed discussion on several issues will be taken up with experts and officials of Odisha government as well as Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

“The Government of India is committed as well as there is a standing instruction from Prime Minister to ensure protection and preservation of the Konark Sun Temple,” Sharma added.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who also attended today’s meeting at New Delhi, informed that no compromises will be made on the protection, beautification and other aspects of Konark Sun Temple.

“Union Culture Minister will write to Odisha government today to nominate representatives for the upcoming meeting to be held in Bhubaneswar where all the proposals as well as suggestions made by various expert committees will be discussed,” said Pradhan.

Earlier on November 9, based on a news report published in a vernacular daily on replacement of original stone carvings by ASI, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, on November 11, had written to Union Culture Minister seeking his intervention in the matter. The Chief Minster had raised concerns about Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) work on replacing artistic stone carvings of Konark temple with plain stones.

“Several issues including the action taken report based on the recommendations made by expert committees in 1997 and 2010 will be discussed at the December 10 meeting,” said Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister, Ashok Panda.

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