The Archaeological Survey of India are yet to receive any response from the state government despite writing several letters while the local administration is sitting silent.
Looking at the beauty and grandeur of the gigantic chariot shaped Sun temple, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1985 had granted the status of a world heritage site to Konark. But, due to negligence and ill maintenance, the site is slowly losing its natural architectural beauty.
The delicate carvings in the architecture are slowly disappearing; the architecture and sculptures carved in the Arka area are losing their beauty. ASI has been working on the improvement of the structure to facilitate the conservation work; they have bound the structure with iron bars while doing chemical and stone work.
Moreover, the deteriorating scenic beauty of the tourist sight is another reason why Konark may lose its heritage site. The encroachments by local people have also created an eye sore for the ancient cultural monument.
Konark has lost its natural beauty due to encroachments and makeshift shopkeepers, we have repeatedly written to the government for help evict them and maintain the beauty of the monument but in vain. If it is not adhered to, no wonder Konark might lose its status.”
A K Patil, Bhubaneswar zone ASI Superintendent
In 2005, ASI had made attempts to remove the small makeshift shopkeepers from the vicinity of the monument, but due to political pressure could not achieve much. From 2013 onwards, around 150 makeshift shopkeepers have been doing business in the front portion of the monument. Some organisations and individuals have complained to the UNSCO on this issue.
Courtesy: Odisha Sun Times