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Govt offered help in repairing damaged monuments

Govt offered help in repairing damaged monuments

Author: Jahnavi Contractor
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 3, 2001

The Indian Archaeological Society (IAS), a Delhi-based organisation, has approached the state ministry for youth culture and sports with proposals to restore around eight state protected monuments that were damaged in the recent earthquake. They have estimated a cost of about Rs 15 crore for the restoration of these structures, some of which have been badly damaged.

D I Krishnani, one of the archaeologists who is on the national list of conservators of the IAS, said that amongst these eight monuments are the Navlakha temple in Ghumli (Jamnagar), four monuments in Kandhkot Bhuj, Bhujia Kothar in Jamnagar, Shiv temple at Kera and the Khambhalena caves at Rajkot.

The IAS has estimated that around Rs 15 crore might be required for the restoration work on these monuments, he said. According to Krishnani the focus so far had been on restoration of the monuments that were protected by the central Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), however, these other monuments too need to be taken care of. He said that the ministry of culture has shown an active interest in restoration of these monuments, however nothing has been finalised yet.

Krishnani, who retired as conservationist from the Archaeological Survey of India, was in Vadodara recently when the PWD invited him to help in the repair work of the 107-year-old Nyay Mandir that was damaged in the earthquake.

He has also played an important role in the excavation of the Rani ni Vav at Patan and in conservation and restoration of several important monuments in Gujarat when he was with the ASI.

Speaking about the Nyay Mandir he says the building is one of its kind and needs to be conserved and protected. "The Nyay Mandir has not been announced as a protected monument, but due to its unique architecture it is a heritage structure that needs conservation.

"One of the unique aspects of this magnificent structure is that the brick tiles that have been used to decorate its outer walls are peculiar. They are not seen in any other buildings in this area and it is evident that they were imported when it was constructed 107 years ago," he said.

According to Krishnani the main problem with the Nyay Mandir is that it has been used extensively over the years, but no maintenance or conservation efforts have been made. "There are several water seepage and other problems in the Nyay Mandir which should be brought to the notice of the authorities so that it can be corrected. For example, the overhead water tank of Nyay Mandir is loaded with higher capacity than what is required.

"The extra load is weakening the foundations of the building. The tanks are positioned on girders, which are attached to the walls, due to the weight these girders have bent and have weakened the walls," he said.

According to him a chemical cleaning process needs to be done so that the building can be conserved.

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