A day after seeking Prime Minister's intervention to ensure the quick repair work of Sri Jagannath Temple, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today visited the 12th Century shrine and inspected the damage in Jaganmohan - the prayer hall in front of the sanctum sanctorum.
"I have seen the damage. The Central team comprising the Director General of ASI and the Secretary to the Culture Ministry will visit the temple to take a decision on the repair works," Patnaik said after surveying the cracks in the pillars of Jaganmohan.
The Chief Minister spent about half-an-hour inside the temple and informed that he has spoken to the Prime Minister on the matter and added: "As far as the temple is concerned, my government will make all efforts."
"We showed the Chief Minister the cracks in the columns and beams of Jagamohan. He also saw the structural map of the temple. We will fully cooperate with the ASI team to take up the repair work," said Suresh Mohapatra, the chief administrator of Sri Jagannth Temple.
Nilakantha Mohapatra, a senior priest, said they are happy that the CM is concerned over the damage in the temple. "Immediate steps need to be taken to save the temple," he said.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress welcomed Patnaik's visit to the temple and his inspection of Jagamohan.
"The delay in repair work could have been avoided had the Chief Minister visited the temple earlier. Now he has rushed to the temple after being criticised by different quarters," senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, Sri Jagannath Temple Administraton (SJTA) today convened a meeting to discuss the repair of Jagamohan which was attended by the members of 11 'nijogs' (priest groups) of the temple.