Servitors stop Puri temple repair work

Puri: Chhatisha Niyog-the body of servitors-has started opposing the repair work carried out by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) inside the main prayer hall in the Jagannath temple. The servitors today stopped the repair work and stressed that they will not allow the work to resume tiil their demands are fulfilled.

The ASI was to start the repair work today. But the servitors under the aegis of the Chhatisha Niyog started questioning the mode of repair and forced the ASI workers and officials to stop work for the day. Chhatisha Niyog secretary, Ramchandra Dasmohapatra said that the niyog was not satisfied with the work undertaken by the ASI and has placed a six point charter of demands.

One devotee was injured inside the temple on November 1 when the carvel of a temple on the western side of the main temple weighing over one tonne suddenly came down from the top. However. the repair plan of the Jagamohan-the main prayer hall inside the temple-was chalked out much before the accident. The technical committee of the ASI too had approved the repair design and mode.

The height of the Jagamohan is about 120 feet. Each arm of the squarish hall is about 80 feet. The repair work was warranted because of cracks on the wall of the northern side. The Chhatisha Niyog however feared that the repair work would be of no use unless the dilapidated temples dotting the outer wall. As the impasse continues no one knows when the repair work will resume.