Nail In Temple

The Archaeological Survey of India and Shree Jagannth Temple 
Administration are at logger head over using iron nails on the walls of the 12th century shrine in Puri.

The ASI has expressed its displeasure over pinning of iron nails on 
the the temple structure to hang garland on the occasion of the Rath Jatra.

The SJTA has allowed a Delhi based business man K
 K Sharma to decorate the temple for the festival. The decorators pinned hundreds of iron nails for the decoration purpose which has been opposed by the ASI.

Mr.Sharma is decorating Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine with flowers for last 20 years and no one had ever raised objections.

He will be spending more than Rs.70 Lakh for flower and fruit decoration  during Rath Jatra, said sources.

SJTA, however, rejected the ASI’s fear saying it is "not a big issue."
Flowers had been brought from different parts of the country to decorate the temple during the Ratha Jatra which draws lakhs of devotees  from across the country and from abroad.

Colourful garlands strung using the flowers were hung from nails which 
were driven into the ancient structure at its main entrance and other parts.

"The SJTA has not taken prior permission before using iron nails on 
the structure. The Shree Jagannath Temple is an ancient and protected monument," Arun Malik, ASI Superintending Archaeologist said .

He was, however, not aware of the number of iron nails used. None can 
take any decision on ancient monuments like Shree Jagannth Temple without proper permission from experts, Mr.Malik said, adding that he has
submitted a report to the ASI director general on the incident.

"I had informed the ASI DG after getting a report from our Puri 
office," he said.

Replying to a question, Malik said he could not raise objections 
immediately during the Ratha Jatra in view of the religious sentiments of the people.

SJTA Chief Administrator Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, however, rejected the 
allegation terming it as "not a big issue."

"When decorating houses with flowers, one will need nails to hang 
garlands. Those do not harm the house. How can they (iron nails) harm a huge structure like the Jagannath Temple? " Mr.Mohapatra said.

SJTA sources said the body will allow flower decoration on the temple 
during 'Bahuda' (return car festival) and 'Sunabesha' (gold attire of the deities) ceremonies of the Ratha Jatra festival.

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