Bhubaneswar: Allaying apprehension on the longevity of the world famous Sun Temple at Konark as reported in the media, Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, on Monday made it clear that there is no threat to the structure.
“As far as the safety factor of the Sun Temple is concerned, the basic structural strength of the temple as per the Newton Puddle (a unit of measurement) should be 469, whereas the present strength is 2323, which is about five times more. Besides, as per the Megapascal (MPa) measurement, the minimum pressure of the world heritage monument should be 1.4 Mpa while the present pressure is 8 MPa, which is about five times more than the normal pressure.” Sharma told mediapersons after attending a high-level meeting at the State Guest House here.
Talking about the preservation of the Sun Temple taken up by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Union Minister said since 1997, ASI has not changed a single stone from the Sun Temple.
“Since the Sun Temple is among the 22 heritage monuments in the world under UNESCO, there is no question of changing of any stone by ASI,” he pointed out.
State Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda, said the state government demanded the formation of a committee of international experts to take necessary steps for immediate repair of the temple as the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) in its report has said that some stones have fallen from the roof of the sanctum sanctorum while the sand filled inside it has been compressed.
“The Union Minister agreed to the demand and assured that the committee would be formed within a month. The committee, after examining the sanctum sanctorum will submit its report to the Centre,” Panda added.
Panda further said that the issue of water-logging inside the Sun Temple during the rainy season was also discussed at the meeting.
Union Culture Secretary Arun Goel, Kakatpur MLA Surendra Sethi, Nimapara MLA Samir Dash, Secretary State Tourism and Culture and Director, State Culture Department; Amiya Bhusan Tripathy of INTACH, experts Gopal Chandra Mitra and Prof Sanjay Acharya; president of Konark Anchalika Vikash Parishad Subash Nayak and president of Konark Suraksha Samiti Badal Das were present at the meeting.