Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 18:
Odisha government will take all steps for the repair and conservation of Jagamohana (prayer hall adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum) of the Shree Jagannath temple announced Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after taking stock of the repair work during his visit to the temple here today.
“I have seen the damage that has been done to the Jagamohana. On the 20th of this month the Director General (DG), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Culture secretary from Delhi will be coming after that we will be taking a decision. As far as the mandir is concerned my government will make all-out efforts for whatever is required. A meeting will be held with the Culture secretary on 20th. I spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday and told him for early repair of the Jagannath mandir,” said Patnaik speaking to reporters after his visit to the temple.
“The Chief Minister visited the temple and saw for himself in detail the condition of the Jagamohana. We explained to him about the cracks in the beams and the columns. We also showed him photographs of the design prepared by the core committee to save it and discussed other reports on the matter. The day after tomorrow Union secretary Culture, DG ASI will be on a visit. They will be staying for around two hours in the temple. Then a meeting will be held with the chief secretary at Bhubaneswar in the afternoon. We are hopeful that a permanent solution will certainly emerge soon after that. We are very much worried since Rath Yatra is approaching,” said Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, chief administrator Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) after the Chief Minister’s visit.
“Chief Minister told us that he has spoken to the Prime Minister over the telephone on this account. We are hopeful that there will be desired progress in the repair work which was being hitherto neglected. This work has to be finished before Snana Purnima because after that no repair work can take place in the sanctum sanctorum as certain secret rituals of the deities are undertaken there during that time,” said Talachhu Mohapatra, president of the Puspalak Nijog.
Earlier in the day, a meeting of the representatives of 11 nijogs (temple servitor bodies), members of the temple management committee was held today. The meeting was chaired by SJTA chief administrator.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi four days ago urging his personal intervention into the matter.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan yesterday had presided over a meeting in New Delhi attended by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, ASI DG Rajesh Tiwari, Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray and other officials to discuss the Jagamohana issue.
An expert team headed by Tourism and Culture Secretary accompanied by DG ASI is scheduled to visit Jagannath temple May 20th for a detailed review.