Bhubaneshwar: Konark temple, a world heritage site visited by lakhs of tourists every year is a magnificent example of Ganga dynasty architecture. However, this world famous structure is crumbling to dust. At least five big cracks have developed in the 13th century monument and stones from it keep falling off.
And Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is concerned.
"Konark is a heritage site of world importance. We are very concerned about it. So I have expressed my concern to the Prime Minister on the matter," he said.
In his letter, Naveen Patnaik writes: "Owing to faulty conservation of the Sun temple, serious incidents of stones falling off the monument are taking place."
The Archeological Survey of India has charge of conserving the temple, but now the state government wants a Central team of experts to inspect the temple and institute a long term plan to protect the megalithic site. And for once, the Government has support of the conservationists.
Member Konark Surakhya Samiti, Lalbahadur Sahoo says, "The ASI is not at all serious about the matter. A committee should be formed with representatives from ASI, Orissa government and local bodies to monitor the conservation process. Otherwise only God knows what will happen."
About four years ago, a similar concern was expressed by the Orissa government regarding the structural stability of the Konark temple. A team of experts from the Centre then visited the site but not much happened after that.
Hopefully this time with the intervention of the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister, things will change for the better.