Friday, August 26, 2016

Standardised Procedure for implementation ,the urgent need

Can the Temple be saved?
A controversy is brewing on who is responsible for the mindless destruction of historic temples in the name of renovation. After hearing the plea , the Supreme Court is reported to make it mandatory to obtain permission before commencing the renovation work. The blame game starts instantly. HR &CE dept says the temples located in interior places do not follow the prescribed practices and the villagers take decision on their own by demolishing the old structure. On the other hand the villagers strike back saying the concerned officers never turn up to supervise the work.

By and large the work is taken up after getting consent from the executive officer of the temple. The problem starts only when the officer fails to ensure that the norms are followed. For example, there is a circular from HR & CE , banning the use of mosaic tiles inside the sanctum. It further insisted to remove the tiles even if they are already fixed. The question now arises as to whether the HR & CE has ensured the implementation of the circular fully! Have they conducted audits of the renovated temples?

 Nobody would prefer demolition of old structures as they know very well that it involves huge money and the new one can never reproduce the old glory. They are driven to such a stage by the negligence of the authorities for several decades. The penniless villagers remain  silent spectators even if the structure is embedded with vegetation and the long roots penetrate from top to bottom.

A learned scholar who has served the Archaeology dept is reported to have told that the presence of vegetation should not pose a problem that leads to destruction. We never expect such a statement from him who has widely travelled and possess good knowledge of our Heritage.

Penetrated roots breaking the wall
 Some photographs published here clearly show the roots uprooting the neglected vimanams and walls of the temples. Having remained silent for several decades, one can no longer watch the roof falling on the Main deity inside the sanctum.  In such cases, the demolition work is already done by the plants and the failure to notice the growth on time  can not be passed on to the villagers. When they seek permission from the concerned dept., the action plan should be drafted by the officer and given to the renovation committee members. Moreover it is highly important that he should closely watch the work at every stage. Violations, if any, should be stopped at that stage itself.

Numbered stones dismantled and restored in a Temple
There is a debate on dismantling and demolishing. Dismantling a structure is supposed to be carried out consciously by taking photographs of the original structure, numbering every stone and reassembling them in their original places. Careful pointing work is done to prevent the emergence of wild growth of plants in the gaps. This arrangement also prevents the inscriptions getting shuffled. Photos taken before and after undertaking such a work are given here for better understanding.
The above procedure can not be adopted if the entire structure, aged several centuries are built entirely with bricks where lime is used to bind them. It makes the deep rooted plants to pull it down easily. The bricks get crumbled if any attempt is made to rebuild the damaged portion. It is more dangerous to leave the vimanam which stands on the supporting wall which is already plagued by the extensive damage caused by the trees.

Unless the root is fully removed, there is no point in cutting a part of the tree whose root is hidden deep  as the half - hearted work will not solve the problem completely and the plant will start growing from the gap vigorously after the next rain . Villagers have made many attempts to kill the trees by spraying tree- killing chemicals but could not succeed. Hence , demolition is forced on them as they are not guided properly.

Chemically treated plant after a week 
 Recently an attempt was made to inject a chemical into the deep rooted trees that emerge from vimanams and walls. This exercise was found successful as the chemical simply killed the plant entirely within a week. Then it became easy to remove the plant from the root level without affecting the structure. However, it becomes imperative to close the gaps so that there is absolutely no possibility of the plant to grow again from the same place.The cost saved in this manner is really tremendous. At the same time it gives great satisfaction of restoring the old beauty without any alteration.

Plants fully removed after the process
HR & CE and ASI should look for development work done in this field and rewrite the standard procedure. More importantly, they should bear the moral responsibility to see the system in place which can give scope for easy implementation.