LUCKNOW: The groundwork for laying the foundation for the proposed Ram Temple in Ayodhya is facing glitches as the tests conducted by experts and engineers have established that structural piles on which the temple has to rest are not of the desired quality.
The piles have to play a crucial role as they have to be laid under the ground and be made to bear the entire weight of the temple, said Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust general secretary Champat Rai.
He claimed that the experts from IIT Madras, IIT Mumbai, IIT Guwahati, Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) Roorkee, NIT Surat, along with engineers of Larson and Toubro and Tata Consulting are now confabulating to look for a way out and find alternatives.
When the place, where the sanctum sanctorum of the temple has to be brought up, was dug, the experts found the first hurdle in form of loose sand at the construction site. “This is because of River Saryu flowing on the west side of the temple site,” said Rai.
As per the design of the foundation, about 1,200 concrete piles with a thickness of around 1 meter in diameter would be placed 20-40 metres below the ground. On these piles would rest the plain cement concrete raft and then the temple thereon, according to the design finalised and submitted by the L&T.
“The test of the piles was conducted as per the drawing that had 1,200 pillars. Experts put some of these pillars around 125 feet below the ground level and then tested them after 28 days,” said Champat Rai.
He added that even a condition of tremors was also created to check the tenacity of the pillar by putting a weight of 700 tonnes on them. “The test piles did not give the desired results. The readings on the machines were much different from what was expected. This is why approval to commence the construction was held back,” said the general secretary of the temple trust.
Champat Rai claimed that the experts were roped in to prepare a foolproof design to sustain the temple for centuries, confabulated with each other through video links for around a fortnight to find ways to stop the water from reaching the temple as it was only then a strong foundation could be made.
“Experts are now having discussions on how to increase the strength of foundation on loose sand,” he said, adding that an underground ‘retaining wall’ could be an option to ensure that water did not reach near the temple after changing course in the future. “The technique of building dams could be used to construct
that underground retaining wall around the site where ‘garbhgriah’ (sanctum sanctorum) has to be built to protect it from the impact of water and wet sand,” said Rai.
According to Jagdish Aphale, the project manager of the Trust from Aurangabad, some alternatives are being discussed as experts have reached the conclusion that only piling and rafting will be not sufficient to hold the weight of the temple.
Champat Rai expressed the hope that all the issues would be addressed by January and the work would start after January 14.