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Sun temple cracks are not dangerous, says Soni

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The cracks developed in the 13th century Sun temple in Konark do not pose any threat to the famous monument, the government today said.

A technical committee of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) found some distress at the lower-most row of the super structure, Culture and Tourism Minister Ambika Soni told the Lok Sabha.

''However there is no threat to the structural stability of the temple,'' Ms Soni said during Question Hour.

The technical committee constituted by the ASI visited the Sun temple on January 16 to study the structure after reports appeared in the media that the fresh cracks had appeared in the monument threatening its safety.

One of the oldest and most recognisable temples in India, the chariot-shaped Sun temple was built in 1278 to venerate the mythological Sun God 'Surya'.

Ms Soni said steps are being taken to arrest the deterioration in the outer surface of the temple. The steps include removal of salt content by paper pulp treatment and fungicidal treatment to contain micro-vegetational growth, she added.

The ASI will also undertake routine maintenance besides consolidation of weathered stones and water repellant treatment.

The Central Building Research Institute's experts will be asked to join in the conservation efforts, she said. The ASI is also planning to reinforce the temple structures with the help of stainless steel pins.

The temple already has a tubular scaffolding erected by the ASI as a protection against salinity and growth of micro-organisms.

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