21 May 2019
Puri: The Jagannath Temple Management Committee today came down heavily on the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for not taking preventive steps to protect the shrine during cyclone Fani.
In a meeting led by the Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, held here today, the management committee held the ASI responsible for negligence which led to serious damages to the temple structure in the cyclone.
Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, Pradipta Mohapatra echoed the motion of the meeting. It was informed that an idol of a lion on the southern part of the temple dismantled in the storm. It could have been prevented if the support (iron) pillars were removed well before the storm, said sources.
"The ASI had sufficient time beforehand to assess the situation and take preventive measures. Gajapati Maharaj and all of the committee members are disappointed with this. The ASI authorities have tendered an apology over this matter," a senior SJTA official said.
The management committee has demanded that the ASI should undertake a drone survey and make a thorough assessment of any other damages on the temple structure and premises. Sources said, the ASI has assured to carry out maintenance on war-footing and also install LED lights on the premises.
The ASI has sought an apology in this regard, the official added.
Besides, it was decided that a new set of 'Jay-Bijay' idols will be placed atop the Singhdwara before Debasnana Purnima. The new idols will be built with stone instead of concrete, said sources. The Jay-Bijay idols were damaged and fell off during the cyclone.