No threat to Sun temple, ASI not replacing original stones: Union Tourism Min
Bhubaneswar: Brushing aside all speculations regarding safety and security of Konark Sun Temple, Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism Mahesh Sharma today claimed that the 13th Century monument has no threat.
Sharma who attended a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat here with Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda on the UNESCO heritage site, cited the MPA and Newton index of the Sun temple to substantiate his claim.
“To consider a monument to be safe the Newton index should be at least 469 while the Sun temple has 2323 making it five times safer. Similarly, another deciding element, the MPA level should be at least 1.4 whereas the temple has 8, making it 6 times safer again,” said Sharma.
Rubbishing the allegations made by former BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra and several other leaders in the state about replacement of original carved stones with plain stones by the ASI, the Union Minister said such an alteration is prohibited at UNESCO heritage sites and hence have not been undertaken at Konark.
A decision has also been taken during today’s meeting to form a committee to prepare an expert report on fee issue at the Sun temple and submit it within a month. However, the Union Minister maintained that no fee will be collected for the Naba Graha worship at the temple and entry fee is applicable only for the monument seeing.