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Two-thirds of digging at Ayodhya Ram temple site complete, says chief architect

The development was confirmed by the authorities concerned after experts reached a consensus over different aspects of the construction, including type of filling and construction methods that will be used to ensure structure stability amid presence of water and loose sand at the site.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
March 11, 2021 4:29:13 am
Stone from Sita Eliya in Sri Lanka to be used for building Ram temple in AyodhyaA stone from Sita Eliya, the place where Goddess Sita is believed to have been held captive by Ravana in Sri Lanka, will be used in the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. (File photo)

Over two-thirds of digging at the Ayodhya Ram temple construction site have been completed, while laying work of pillars is expected to start by the first week of April, temple’s chief architect Ashish Sompura said Wednesday.

This comes close on the heels of the conclusion of the widespread donation campaign for the temple construction.

The development was confirmed by the authorities concerned after experts reached a consensus over different aspects of the construction, including type of filling and construction methods that will be used to ensure structure stability amid presence of water and loose sand at the site.

“The digging at the site is almost over and the soil is being tested. We are also preparing the filling sample that will be used in the ground. There will be stone pillars, which will run 12 metres deep under the ground. Most of the technical things have been completed and we expect that the filling can start by March-end or first week of April. The basic construction of the temple is expected to take around three years, after which the finishing work and interior decoration will start,” Sompura told The Indian Express.

He said earlier this week they had a meeting in Lucknow with those involved in the construction and a part of the construction committee. All these points were discussed in the meeting.

On Saturday, Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust general secretary Champat Rai had said the final donation amount collected under the Shri Ram Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Abhiyanare was yet to be calculated. However, based on bank receipts, the amount collected till March 4 has crossed Rs 2,500 crore. He also announced that nearly 60 per cent of the foundation digging and earth removal works were complete. It is expected that the foundation filling work will start in the first week of April, he said.

The excavation work started in the second half of January. A decision to dig around 12-metre deep slope was made to ensure stability of the structure. The experts will remove the debris and bad soil. In December last year, the initial test piles failed to bear the weight and handle earthquake-like situations during examination. Following that the experts were looking for alternative ways to ensure that foundation and pillars can withstand the weight amid loose sand found under the construction site.

Experts from several renowned organisations, including IITs, NITs, Roorkee’s Central Building Research Institute, L&T and TCE, were also facing an additional hurdle of water flow of Sarayu on the west side of the “Garbhgrih” (sanctum sanctorum), making it harder for them to build a concrete structure that can last for generations.

“Even though this is not my field of expertise, the options discussed for the foundation include construction of underground walls instead of normal piles. But, the experts are yet to decide which system will be the best to ensure the life of the temple for a millennium,” he said.

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