"As soon as the state government allows us after opening of the temple for puja, which we think will get after September 11, ASI will begin the restoration work," Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch said. (Agencies)
She said that though the temple was in fair state, “Our priority would be to make the structure strong enough so that it withstands snowfall in the approaching winter season.”
The ASI has been entrusted to undertake the restoration work of the temple after a meeting of Inter-Ministerial Group meeting.
A combined team, comprising members of ASI, Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL) visited Kedarnath in August to assess damages to the temple and its adjoining areas.
She said that preliminary report by ASI indicated that overall the temple super-structure was in fair state of conservation although portions of the temple on northern, western and eastern sides have indicated moderate impact of the severe jolt due to floods and boulder movement.
The temple structure was saved primarily due to the lodging of a large boulder on its northern side which deflected water and boulders and possibly prevented a direct impact, she said.
The minister said that ASI has been advised to submit the Action Plan for Phase I by September 9, so that they could begin the work after September 11, after the visit of Uttarkhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna to Kedarnath.
Initially the works would include cleaning of the interior of temple, packing and consolidating loose stones. The conservation work will cost approximately Rs 2.40 crores, she said.
"As soon as the state government allows us after opening of the temple for puja, which we think will get after September 11, ASI will begin the restoration work," Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch said.