Central ministers meet over Jagannath temple repair

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New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, March 16 (IANS) Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday held a review meeting over the restoration and repair of the Jagamohan (porch) of the Jagannath temple in Puri, following a direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pradhan expressed concern about the slow progress of the work and inconvenience being caused to the pilgrims.

He requested the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to be sensitive to local sentiments and use local expertise and wisdom in the restoration work.

Puri MP Pinaki Mishra, who was also present, spoke about creating more awareness and transparency by publicly stating the goals, timelines and probable completion dates of the ongoing work.

Sharma reassured the meeting that the structure of the temple was safe and the ASI will make all efforts to ensure that the conservation/restoration work is completed expeditiously, within a stipulated timeframe.

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He also informed that IIT-Chennai was carrying out a study about the structural stability and associated issues.

The meeting was attended by BJD MPs Bhartruhari Mahtab and Prabhas Kumar Singh.

BJP leaders from Odisha K.V. Singhdeo, Sangeeta Singhdeo, Dilip Ray and Bijay Mohapatra met the prime minister on Wednesday and sought his intervention to expedite the repair of the Jagamohan facing the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century shrine.

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