Puri: After a long wait, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Thursday decided to prepare a five-year plan for the conservation of various small temples in the 12th century shrine complex.
The decision in this regard was taken at the meeting attended by SJTA Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar, ASI Additional DG, Dr. Ramji Nigam, Director Science Conservation and other officials of Odisha’s Public Works department. Though the meeting was an annual event held ahead of every Rath Yatra, this is for the first time that the officer of the rank of ASI ASG attended it.
The meeting was held to coordinate repair and maintenance work inside the temple.
Renowned external experts like AP Gupta, ex-professor & HOD, IIT Kharagpur and chairman of Technical Core Committee; DP Mishra, Bindheswar Patra and B K Ratha attended the meeting.
The ASI is tasked with the upkeep of the world-famous shrine.
Official sources said that though the SJTA had earlier drawn attention of the ASI for the repair of the small temples inside the shrine, the appeals were not addressed.
Thursday’s meeting is considered significant as the ASI, for the first time, agreed for the five-year plan for the purpose, the officials said.
Water seepage was witnessed in many small temples in the 12th century shrine complex following 2019 cyclone Fani and this was discussed at the meeting.
Earlier, this year a part of the statue of lord Narsimha had come down due to lack of maintenance.
“Annual repair and restoration works will be taken up inside Garbha Gruha (sanctum sanctorum) of Shree Jagannath Temple and other parts of the complex with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocol,” the SJTA chief administrator said.
A micro work plan will be jointly developed by ASI & Works department in this regard, Kumar said, adding that it was decided to make a five-year action plan for comprehensive conservation works of various “Parshva” (inner side) temples and other parts of the temple complex.
It was also decided that the repair of the ‘Garbha Gruha’ (sanctum sanctorum) will be done when the trinity – Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath- go on a nine-day sojourn to Sri Gundicha Temple during Rath Yatra beginning July 12.