ASI resumes removal of sand from Sun Temple in Odisha’s Puri; advisory committee chief questions safety

Konark: The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) today restarted the removal of sand from Konark Sun Temple’s Jagamohan, a UNESCO world heritage site in Odisha’s Puri district. However, the Head of an advisory committee constituted for the purpose has questioned the safety of Black Pagoda.

“ASI never discussed with the advisory committee regarding the removal of sand, prior to resuming the work. Technicalities of the process have not been finalised yet. In such a situation, it could pose a serious threat to the monument. Even to the extent, there is a high risk that the temple might collapse if sand is removed in a faulty manner,” said the advisory committee chief Dr. Narayan Chandra Pal.

“ASI officials claim that the sand removal work will be completed in three years. Can the monument be put at risk?” the advisory committee Head questioned when contacted over his mobile phone.

Removal of sand was earlier started by ASI on September 8, 2022, which was subsequently stopped.

Worth mentioning, ASI has tied up with BDR Construction Private Limited to carry out the work.

The sand filling was previously done nearly 120 years ago by the British regime in 1903 to provide support to the 13th-century monument. In a bid to provide structural stability, the erstwhile Lieutenant Governor of Bengal presidency had ordered sand filling of the Jagamohan.

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