The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, set up to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya, on Wednesday asked people from the community to donate copper strips and 2-inch copper rods for the temple’s construction and said the temple is being built in a way to last at least a thousand years.
The Trust’s general secretary, Champat Rai, told the media that the temple would be built in 36 to 40 months.
Stating that donating the copper material would be evidence of the “country’s contribution” towards the temple’s construction, Rai said, “Copper strips have the ability to stay safe even during an earthquake. We need (around) 10,000 such strips – at least 18 inches long, 3 mm in depth, 30 mm wide. We will ask the community to send these strips; names of their villages, temples, or mohallas can be carved on them. This will be evidence of the country’s contribution.”
He said the temple’s columns will have 2-inch rods, and approximately 10,000 such copper rods will be required. “This will be a very big contribution from the country,” he said.
On the construction time-frame, he said, “We cannot say anything about when the temple will be built. Even then, at least 36 months – (or) 3 years. These 36 (months) can become 40; but 36 (whether it can be) to 35, at least I cannot say. If someone says (an exact time-frame), it will be said that he is being hasty and doesn’t know enough. The Prime Minister also considers it (time) to be three years. He does not believe it is less than that…that much patience we must have.”
Stating that experts will now take over the work, Rai said he is happy with the team examining aspects of construction, and looking to construct a structure that can last the elements for at least a thousand years. He said Larsen and Toubro, the construction giant which will build the temple, has “enlisted the best people”.
Rai said, “To measure the strength of the soil, they have taken the help of IIT-Madras and are taking samples of up to 60 metres under the ground…. CBRI-Roorkee and a professor from IIT-Madras have taken measurements on its earthquake resistance…this test has taken also place. There will be plain concreting (PCC) at 1,200 places between the depths of 30 and 35 metres under the soil. The CBRI and the IIT-Madras professor are studying it.”
The Trust, Rai said, is also considering putting up “viewing spots” for visitors. “We are attempting to put in place spots where when people come and see the temple being constructed – how the machines are operating.… Many articles have been found from the earth. In the Prime Minister’s words, these are national treasures. In my opinion, more may come out when the earth is dug. We will put all of this at a place; people can see and pray.”
He said that a shivling – of 4 feet and 11 inches in length – has been found during digging at the site. “It has been found 12 feet under the level that existed in 1992 (when the Babri Masjid was demolished),” Rai said.
On the controversy surrounding the date of bhoomi pujan – some have said that August 5 was inauspicious — Rai said, “We had decided that whatever day the Prime Minister comes, that is the most auspicious day. The rest does not matter. So we did not give heed to criticism. Work should be detailed, according to a plan. In the world, India’s, and in India the head of Hindu samaj should be held high. That is the only intention.”
On the controversy surrounding invitation to L K Advani, Rai shot back, “Do you have more relations with Advani-ji, (M M) Joshi ji and Kalyan Singh? He (Advani) is our pitamah (father-figure).”