"We have asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to complete the repair and conservation work of Sri Jagannath Temple by December 2014, much before the Lord's Navakalebara festival in 2015," Union Culture secretary Ravindra Singh told reporters after holding a discussion with the state government officials led by Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra.
    
The Union Secretary has directed the ASI officers present in the meeting to complete the repair and restoration of Singhadwar (Lions Gate) of Jagannath temple by March, 2014.
    
On the state government's proposal of establishment of one ASI Unit at Puri, the Union Secretary said that formal orders for establishment will be issued within a fortnight.
    
It has been decided in the meeting that steps will be taken for joint sealing, grouting and repair of Kalasa (a stone pot atop the temple) and Chakra (wheel) of the Jagmohan of Puri temple.

A target has been set to complete the work by March 2014.
    
"It has also been decided that the surrounding flooring of the temple will be renovated so as to facilitate easy and smooth pradakshina (walking on foot) of devotees," an official said.
    
The matters relating to conservation of Konark Temple and removal of inside sands were thoroughly discussed in the meeting.
    
"ASI can take a decision on the technology of Konark conservation only after getting the survey report being conducted by the Central Building Institute," Singh said.
    
Meanwhile the ASI's investigation of Konark Temple through laser scanning, GPR and loop holes technique has been completed.
    
It was decided in the meeting that ASI will provide laser study data within 15 days.

(Agencies)

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