Puri, Nov 16: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has geared up for undertaking repair work of the Natamandap (Dancing Hall) of Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri.
A meeting in this regard was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Srimandir Chief Administrator Ranjan Das after the Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the ASI to start repair work the Natamandap from today (Thursday). The division bench of Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman had issued the direction.
ASI officials and members of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration were present in the meeting.
While directing ASI to start the work, the bench also asked amicus curiae NK Mohanty to submit a status report on the progress every fortnight. The bench fixed December 4 for taking stock of the progress of the work. The high court is monitoring repair and renovation of Natamandap.
Earlier at the start of hearing on the matter, ASI counsel Chandrakanta Pradhan had submitted an affidavit in which ASI’s superintending archaeologist (Puri Circle) DB Garnayak said the central agency has received a modified design and working drawing for strengthening of the cracked beam of Natamandapa, taking into consideration, the new suggestions given by the core committee members.
“As per the discussion held, in the meeting at Puri, between the Chief Administrator of SJTA and ASI, in the presence of amicus curiae and engineer-in-chief, Works department of Odisha, it has been finalised to start the work from 20.1.2024 which will be completed within 120 working days having six working hours per day.” Garnayak stated in the affidavit.
However, the High Court dismissed the plea and directed the ASI to start repair work the Natamandap from today (Thursday).