Bhubaneswar, Mar 14: Worried over the cracks being detected in the 12th century Shri Jagannath shrine at Puri, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged the Centre to send technical experts to oversee the repair and restoration of the temple.
Patnaik, in a letter to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, said, "Since this is a matter of urgent public importance, I seek your personal intervention to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to send their top technical experts for repairing and restoration works at the earliest."
Shri Jagannath Temple is the holiest shrine in Odisha and an institution of unique importance in India, he said.
Patnaik said, "After deplastering of the inner surface of the Jagamohan, it was noticed the four column capitals and the eight stone beams have serious cracks which might affect its structural stability."
He said the state government had formed a core committee comprising structural engineers, representatives of the ASI and Shri Jagannath Temple Administration, to suggest remedial measures.
After inspecting the structure on February 7, the committee has recommended additional support to the beams immediately for preventing further damage to the Jagamohan, the chief minister said.