Odisha: Amicus advises againstuse of sand in restoration | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


CUTTACK: The Orissa high court-appointed amicus curiae NK Mohanty has advised against filling of sand inside the Jagamohan of the Sun Temple in Konark for the conservation of the 13th century monument, without any debate.
In a report submitted in the high court on Monday, Mohanty said, “This needs to be debated by experts from Unesco, the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A final decision may be taken after the debate.”
In another pertinent point relevant to ensure its structural stability, the amicus curiae suggested “to carry out additional studies to determine the properties of soil and ascertain the geometry and materials of foundation of the Jagamohan of the Sun Temple”. He also suggested examining the levels at different points “for determination of subsidence if any”.
On July 22, the high court had appointed advocate NK Mohanty as amicus curie to assess ASI in its action plan for the conservation of the Konark Temple and the progress made so far.
The appointment of amicus curiae followed the submission of affidavits by the ASI conceding that there is need for conservation of the Konark Temple by way of filling of sand inside Jagamohan, strengthening of projected roof stones, quantitative assessment of chemical conservation work, re-conducting of laser scanning and improvement of drainage system.
In one affidavit, it was said the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee which was engaged for detailed structural investigation of the monument had recommended filling of sand inside the Jagamohan.
In his report, Mohanty suggested the CBRI to work out a few more alternatives to its strengthening scheme “which should go aesthetically with the architecture of the monument”.
“Taking note of the amicus curiae’s report, the division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra posted the matter to December 16 for hearing along with the reply to it by ASI,” central government counsel Chandrakanta Pradhan told TOI. The court expected ASI to file the reply by way of an affidavit by then.
Mohanty further advised to assess the quality of stone of core wall. “This would be done by examining the stones of the campus on representative basis and by extricating the core of about 25mm diameter,” he said in his report.
The report also suggested increasing the periodicity of chemical cleaning for preservation of the temple and making the structure watertight by systematically sealing the cracks and joints, etc.
The high court has been adjudicating on a public interest litigation seeking intervention into alleged inadequacy in the protection of the Sun Temple at Konark.
Cuttack-based lawyer Dilip Mohapatra had first filed the petition in 2016. The case had since languished till it came up on November 27 last year.
Mohapatra then filed an interim petition alleging that the situation at the Konark Temple is alarming and requires urgent repair and renovation to preserve the monument in its present state. The ASI had filed the affidavits in response to the interim petition.

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