ASI inspects Natamandap damage

State-of-the-art gadgets to be used to calculate the load on each pillar and beam

Published: 28th November 2022 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2022 05:34 AM   |  A+A-

The expert team on their way to inspect the Natamandap in Puri on Sunday | Express

The expert team on their way to inspect the Natamandap in Puri on Sunday | Express

By Express News Service

PURI: A high-level technical team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) along with the Orissa High Court-appointed amicus curiae inspected the damaged portion of the Natamandap in Sri Jagannath temple here on Sunday. 

During the inspection, it was found that the pillars have developed cracks while the beams that take the load of Natamandap have weakened. There are visible and invisible cracks which need to be repaired, said the superintending engineer of ASI, Bhubaneswar circle AK Malik.

The expert team decided to use state-of-the-art gadgets to calculate the load on each pillar and beam by using a load meter. The Central Building Research Institute (CSIR) will be consulted on the matter. A detailed plan to carry out the repairs is being prepared by experts from Delhi, Chennai and Baroda and it will be available soon. Work will start after the temple’s technical core committee approves the plan, said Malik.

IIT, Kharagpur has been entrusted with studying water seepage at joints of Natamandap and Jagamohan and prepare a status report. After approval by the technical core committee, the report will be sent to the DG, ASI for allocation of fund. 

The damage to Natamandap came to light before 2018 but no repair was carried out. In 2018, crack meter was installed on the damaged portion of Natamandap to monitor the surface cracks. As per the meter, the cracks have not widened so far. Apart from Malik, the expert team comprised an additional DG of ASI J Sharma and senior scientist of IIT, Madras Arun Menon.

While hearing a plea on ASI’s ‘negligence’ in carrying out repair works of Sri Jagannath temple, the Orissa High Court had appointed NK Mohanty as the amicus curiae. Mohanty had visited Srimandir and submitted a report about the need for urgent repairs. The HC then directed the ASI to carry out necessary repairs. 

Mohanty said a report will be submitted to the HC within a month and the repair work completed within a year. Meanwhile, the ASI has started installing scaffolding on the Natamandap. 


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