Orissa HC seeks report from ASI on Jagannath temple's Natmandap condition

Cuttack: Orissa High Court on Wednesday sought from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) a status report on the roof ceiling of the corridor near Jay Vijay Dwar or entrance to Jagmohan and that above the Garuda Stamba inside Natmandap of the Jagannath temple in Puri.

The ASI filed an affidavit in the high court on wednesday apprising it about completion of the repair of Jagamohan, the hall facing the sanctum sanctorum of the Jagannath temple in Puri. The ASI cited in its report that the Jagamohan is now completely safe as capitol stone, columns and vertical beams in Jagamohan have been fixed completed.

However, NK Mohanty, a retired civil engineer and a lawyer, who has been appointed amicus curie in the case by high court submitted a report highlighting the poor condition of Natya Mandap. Mohanty also cited in his report that corridor adjoining Jay-Bijay dwar in the temple is in distressed condition while the cracks have developed in the Garuda stambha. The amicus curie has prayed the court that the problem needs immediate attention.

"Taking note of amicus curie's report, the Orissa high court has directed ASI to submit a detail report on measures taken by it to resolve the issues. Court has asked to file the report by November 15," said Chandra Kanta Pradhan, ASI's counsel.

The court has also directed temple administration to file a report in this regard.

Notably, a PIL was filed in high court in 2015 alleging that repair work of Jagamohan was going at a very slow pace and lakhs of devotees were getting affected due to it. The petitioner had urged high court to intervene in the matter. Taking cognizance of the PIL, high court has been monitoring of the repair work of the Jagamohan for last two years. The court during previous hearings had expressed displeasure over the tardy progress by ASI on repair work and had fixed a deadline for completion of the work. The intervention the court expedited the repair work of Jagamohan.

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