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SC asks Centre to ascertain structural stability of Mahakal Temple at Ujjain

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court directed the Centre on Wednesday to get a comprehensive analysis of the strength and stability of the historic Mahakal Temple complex in Ujjain conducted by a high-level expert committee.
The top court asked the Centre to submit its report by September.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah also accepted the report of temple committee on safety and security measures adopted for the devotees who visit Nagchandreshwar Temple, situated in the complex, in view of the upcoming Nagpanchmi festival on August 5.
"We accept the report of temple committee. We are satisfied with the steps taken by the committee," the bench said.
The bench was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that as per the court's directions the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee; Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and National Institute of Technology, Bhopal were contacted ont he issue and they have agreed to conduct the analysis.
The bench then directed the Centre to set up an expert committee with representative from the three institutes.
"We request the Centre and state government to get the Mahakal temple and its various structure analysed by a team of CBRI, IIT-Madras and NIT-Bhopal for ascertaining the structural stability. The report shall be submitted before the court on or before September 16," the bench said.
The temple committee report has said that to regulate the influx of large number of devotees and their safety three stairs are being used for entry into the sanctum sanctorum and the exit.
"From one side of stairs, the pilgrims would reach on third floor and have darshan of Lord Nagchandreshwar and after that they would come down from other side through two other stairs," the report said.
It further said that these three stairs are constructed under the supervision of Public Works Department (PWD) and after the month of Shravan, 80 per cent of the constructed iron stairs structure would be removed.
"The darshan begins only after receiving structure security certificate from the executive engineer of PWD. The structure of the stairs is currently under construction," It said.
The temple committee told the court that adequate police and security personnel will be deployed under the supervision of the competent magistrates nominated by the state government further to ensure that the pilgrims stand in queue and have darshan in hassle free manner.
On July 22, the apex court had sought a report from the temple committee and the state government with respect to Nagchandreshwar Temple.
The top court had last year refused to interfere with the rituals being observed at the historic Mahakaleshwar Temple while dealing with the issue of protecting the 'Jyotirlingam' at the ancient temple,.
The temple, in its resolution, has permitted devotees to use a fixed amount of water measuring 500 ml in a small pot per person for 'Jalabhishek' (worship by offering water).
As per the resolution, water for 'Jalabhishek' should be taken from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine installed during the religious congregation of Simhastha in 2016, for which a connection was to be provided near the sanctum sanctorum.
The apex court has been dealing with the issue of protecting the 'Jyotirlingam', a devotional representation of Lord Shiva at the ancient Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
It had earlier taken strong exception over some display boards set up at the temple which had attributed new worshipping norms as directions of the top court.
The apex court had on April 5 last year said that its concern was only about the protection of the 'lingam' at the ancient temple, while observing that it was for the temple management to discuss and decide what religious rituals should be followed and how worship should be performed there.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 7:05 PM IST

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