**Bhubaneswar: ** As the controversy of alleged removal of original carved stone of the historic Konark Sun Temple and replaced with ordinary one by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been rocking the State, the issue was raised in the Odisha Assembly today.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra raised the issue during the ‘Zero Hour’ discussion in the House. Leaders of ruling BJD and opposition BJP also expressed their concerns on the issue.
The Leader of Opposition today raised the issue of protection of Konark Sun Temple and alleged that both Centre and the State Governments have failed to give protection to the world heritage monument and sought clarification on the removal of original stone carvings.
Informing media later, the Leader of Opposition said, “Konark Temple is on the verge of crumbling down. It is not only published in the newspaper, but also we have received information from various sources. It is also in the enquiry report. But, no steps are being taken by the Central Government for Konark Temple’s protection. This issue was raised today in the House.”
“Hon’ble Speaker has directed the State Government to take action. I hope Central Government would wake up to the occasion and protect Konark Sun Temple,” he remarked.
Odisha Food Supplies and Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro reacted, “Konark Sun Temple is under the ASI. It’s the duty of the ASI to protect Konark Temple and strengthen it. If ASI is neglecting, the officials will be held responsible. Basing on the media reports, Chief Minister has already written letter to the Union Minister of Culture citing that ASI has failed in protecting Konark Sun Temple.”
“As Konark Sun Temple is a historical monument and under the control of ASI, it our prime duty to draw the attention of ASI and Centre,” stated the Odisha Minister.
Odisha BJP Legislature Party Leader K.V. Singhdeo in his media reactions said, “The Leader of Opposition raised the issue in the Assembly today basing on a news item. He said that an enquiry report has been submitted with the State Government. It should be informed to the House so that the people of Odisha could know. If there is any apprehension over Konark Sun Temple’s damage, we should all fight unitedly for the State’s interest.”
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