ASI dispels apprehensions about structural stability of Konark Sun Temple

Bhubaneswar, Dec 20:  The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has informed the Orissa High Court that the apprehensions by a petitioner about the Konark Temple being in danger was absolutely baseless.

           “Not even a single piece of stone has been removed from any portion of the surviving structural remains of the Sun Temple and no replacement of stone has been done for conservation or any other purpose,” ASI Director General Usha Sharma said in an affidavit to the court recently.

           Her response came after the high court had asked the ASI to file a comprehensive status report on a public interest litigation (PIL) by a Cuttack-based advocate.

           Sharma said ever since the ASI took up the conservation and protection of the 13th-century monument in 1938, it had been taking utmost care for its proper preservation and protection.

           Regular monitoring of the temple is being carried out by experts and engineers of the ASI, as well as eminent scientists from structural institutions like the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, and the IITs of Madras and Kharagpur, the Director General said.

           “There is no alarming situation at present to the structure. The CBRI has studied all such cracks and other structural issues for last few years and has not mentioned any imminent danger of the structural stability of the monument or any part of it,” the affidavit said.

           The division bench of Chief Justice K S Jhaveri and Justice B N Rath, however, asked the petitioner to file a counter affidavit if any and posted the matter for hearing on January 21.

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