CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to file an affidavit on the timeline drawn up by it to complete the installation of the stainless-steel box beam for strengthening the Natamandap of Jagannath Temple in Puri.
The high court has been monitoring the strengthening of the cracked beam inside the Natamandap as part of adjudication on the PIL for conservation of the 12th-century shrine filed by Abhisek Das, a resident of Cuttack, in 2016.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman expected the superintendent of ASI Puri Circle, DB Garnayak to file the affidavit by the next week when the matter is taken up for further monitoring.
The bench issued the direction after amicus curiae NK Mohanty stated before the court that the ASI’s technical expert core conservation committee has finalised the design of the stainless-steel box beam. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA)’s expert committee approved the design at a meeting held on January 10. Participating in the meeting the superintending archaeologist assured that installation of the stainless-steel box beam for strengthening of the cracked beam will be completed by April 30, the amicus curiae said while making oral submissions.
In his report submitted earlier, the amicus curiae had indicated that the ASI had already dismantled the framed decorative wooden ceiling of the central pillar head area inside the Natamandap and stored it in the museum in the temple complex. De-plastering of the stone structures supporting the pillar heads in the four directions has been completed with appropriate joint sealing of the de-plastered area.