Puri: A team of senior officials from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Friday reached cyclone-ravaged Odisha to assess the quantum of structural damages to the Srimandir here and the Sun Temple at Konark.
The Union Culture Ministry said, in a tweet, that ASI Director General Usha Sharma, accompanied by a team of senior officials, is assessing the damages caused to the heritage temples by Cyclone Fani.
Another official said the team is estimating the specifics of the damage.
The ASI team now will suggest restoration exercise needed for the monuments and the surrounding areas. A report is expected soon.
Earlier, the Superintending Archaeologist of ASI Bhubaneswar Circle inspected the monuments and “found no major damage to structure of the temple but damages only on the surface.”
The office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in a tweet Friday, said he had drawn attention of Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma to damage to these temples.
The state government had sought direction to the ASI for deputing a high-level team to assess the damage and implement remedial measures ahead of important cultural event of Rath Yatra in Puri, which is slated for July 4.
Meanwhile, another central team would soon visit Odisha in a day or two to assess crop damage due to Cyclone Fani. “A team has been constituted and will leave for Odisha in a day or two to examine the extent of damage, based on which the relief amount will be decided,” a senior official said.
Thousands of coconut and mango trees are reported to have been uprooted in the extremely severe cyclone that hit the coastal districts of the state a week ago. Even agricultural land closer to the coastal areas has been washed out,” he said.
According to the state government’s preliminary assessment, more than 30 per cent crop has been damaged in Odisha due the cyclone.
More than 1,00,000 hectares of agricultural land was badly affected in 14 districts of the state, the report said.
The Central government official also mentioned that the team may not visit Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal because not much damage has been reported from these two states.
In case of Odisha, the state is still reeling under the aftereffects of cyclonic storm; and the entire state machinery is involved in the daunting task of recovery.
Konark to reopen within three days
he Konark Sun Temple, which suffered minor damages during the storm, will be reopened to the public within the next three days, the Culture Ministry said Friday. There is some dislocation in the scaffoldings provided for chemical cleaning at upper level which is being set right. More than 200 trees have been damaged which are being cleared, said a Ministry statement. The electric and illumination system including internet access has been affected, restoration of which will take some time, it said, adding, the monument will be opened to public in the next two to three days. The chemical cleaning and consolidation of eastern face will be completed on priority. The monument will be restored back to normal within a