Post-Fani repairs of Puri Srimandir to be completed ‘before Rath Yatra’

Bhubaneswar: All necessary repair works of Shree Jagannath Temple (Srimandir) in Puri will be undertaken on a war-footing and completed before the upcoming Rath Yatra, informed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) DG, Usha Sharma after assessing the damage caused during cyclone Fani.

Official sources said senior ASI officials have been directed to set up camps and monitor the repair works. A high-level team of ASI led by Sharma visited Puri Srimandir and Konark Sun Temple today and categorically ruled out any structural damage to Konark Sun Temple during cyclone Fani.

“The team observed that by and large there is no structural damage to the Sun Temple. The team has informed that there is some dislocation in the scaffolding provided for chemical cleaning at upper level which is being set right,” said Sharma.

Over 200 trees have been damaged while the restoration of electricity and illumination system will take some time. However, the gates of Konark Sun Temple, which has been tagged as a world heritage site by UNESCO, will be thrown open for visitors in the next 2-3 days.

“The monument will be restored back to normal within a fortnight,” Sharma said adding that officials have been directed to complete the repair works at Puri temple before Rath Yatra.

On Thursday, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had written to Union Minister of State (I/C) of Culture, Mahesh Sharma seeking Centre’s intervention to assess the damages caused to Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri and Konark Sun Temple by cyclone Fani which hit the State on May 3.

Earlier, the Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s Bhubaneswar Circle had inspected Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri and found certain damages on the surface but no major damage to the structure of the temple.