CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has set December 16 for further hearing on Puri Jagannath temple renovation case. The court has been hearing the case in response to a PIL on renovation and repair work at the temple.
The division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra fixed the date on Monday after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) counsel informed the court on the status of work on the cracked stone beams inside Nata Mandap, renovation of Jagamohan and other works taken up at the 12th century shrine.
The ASI is expected to file the status report in affidavit along with further progress in work by then. The petition was filed by social activist Abhisek Das.
According to the status report, preliminary findings obtained from crack metres mounted on the distressed beams of Nata Mandap are ‘encouraging’, which means that there was nothing disturbing about the cracks in the beams. The crack metres were installed as part of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system for measuring displacement due to cracks in the beams.
“The IIT-Madras has submitted its preliminary findings after due consideration of data recorded and obtained from the crack metres and other gadgets of last three months from June 12 onwards. The results show encouraging findings,” the status report said.
Amicus Curiae in the case advocate NK Mohanty had earlier raised doubts over the outcome of the SHM system due to faulty mounting of the metres.
However, the ASI status report said, “There was some installation problem in the crack metre mounted on one of the distressed beams of the Nata Mandap, but the same had been ratified by a team of IIT-Madras, Engineers of Encardio Rites and ASI.”
On renovation of Jagamohana, the status report said load cells installed by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee for assessment of transfer of load of the cracked stone beams to a steel portal frame ‘are functioning properly’. It has been decided to analyse and submit their data ‘for reviewing in the interval of three months’.
The status report said, “Arrangements for differently-abled persons have been provided through Western Gate and the ramp run up to the inner bedha via Ananda Bazaar. The proposed wooden ramp from Ghantidwar is under process for approval. Work will start after approval of the estimate by the Competent Authority.”