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New Delhi, August 8: Bolangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo (BJD) Monday raised the issue of tardy pace of Jagmohan repair work in Srimandir due to staff crunch with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
Deo said in the Lok Sabha that India has nearly 3,000 structures under ASI out of which 27 are world heritage monuments. Ministry of culture has also admitted that ASI suffers from staff shortage. The ASI’s east zone has 36 employees against a sanctioned strength of 71.
“This zone comprising famous heritage sites in Orissa, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are now neglected due to staff shortage in ASI. The renovation of Puri Jagannth temple has been hampered due to staff crunch. Will the government take any action in this regard,” he asked.
Responding to the question, minister of state (MoS) for culture and tourism Mahesh Sharma said, “I admit there is shortage of staff. For years we have 43 organisations including ASI under the ministry of culture. But we take care of the monuments and their repair. Security or preservation work is not hampered anyway.”
Sharma also said contractual workers have been hired to ensure monument protection. ‘‘Nearly 1000 workers have been deployed to take care of monuments. Experts on archeology and epigraphy are sometimes unavailable.’’
Sharma, however, said the government has revised the recruitment rules and hired officials in supervisory posts. But shortage of trained officials in archeology persists.
Deo, however, sought to know from the minister how long will the government keep on shifting bureaucrats from the ministry of culture to the ASI which needs professional archeologists.
The minister in his reply said the government has been focusing on recruitment of more skilled manpower into the ASI.
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