Under fire from several quarters, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has finally decided to set up its office at Puri to closely supervise the conservation work of Jagannath Temple.
“Keeping 2015 Nabakalebar festival in mind, we had been demanding since long to have an ASI unit at Puri. The ASI director general has agreed to open an office. The DG has asked the state office to prepare a detailed project report,” Jagannath Temple’s chief administrator Arvind Padhee told .
Padhee had on September 12 written a letter to the President Pranab Mukherjee’s press secretary, seeking ‘needful action’ by the Rashtrapati Bhawan for establishment of an ASI office in Puri.
On November 28, the Jagannath Temple Administration lodged a complaint with the ASI director general, alleging tardy progress of conservation work and delay in opening a unit in Puri. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik too had sent a series of letters to the Union culture ministry on the same issue. “The repair and restoration work at the temple has been slowed down for the past few months. It will definitely gather steam if ASI opens an office here and appoints trained personnel at Puri,” Padhee said.Nabakalebar ASI Jagannath Temple