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Ayodhya Ram Temple chief priest reports a leaky roof: All you need to know

Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, reported significant leakage from the roof directly above his seating area in front of the idol of Ram Lalla

ram mandir

Ram Mandir being decorated with flowers on the eve of its consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya (PTI Photo)

Abhijeet Kumar New Delhi
The sight of saffron flags adorned with the image of Lord Ram atop vehicles, households, and buildings remains vivid in memory. When the Ram Temple was inaugurated in January, people across the country engaged in fasting and devotional activities, watching on their television sets as Prime Minister Narendra Modi consecrated Lord Ram’s idol in Ayodhya. The air was vibrant with the sounds of 'Jai Shri Ram' and the generosity of bhandaras, reflecting the fulfilment of a deeply held wish by millions to bring 'Lord Ram home'.

The Ram Temple celebrated for its grand design and intricate architecture, caught the attention of media nationwide, even amidst discussions of social and economic impacts. Despite the initial celebrations, concerns have arisen about the durability of the structure, which was intended to symbolise a path towards national development

Leakage in Ram Temple roof
 

The Ram Temple in Ayodhya may not have led to electoral gains for the BJP even in the town itself but latest reports point towards more embarrassment. Reports emerged on Monday (June 24) that the newly constructed Ram Temple in Ayodhya is experiencing embarrassing setbacks, with the roof of the sanctum sanctorum leaking after the first heavy rains since its inauguration on January 22 this year.

Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest, expressed surprise at the leakage, noting the involvement of engineers from across the country in the temple's construction. "It is very surprising. With so many engineers here and the Pran Pratishtha held on January 22, nobody would have thought water would leak from the roof," Das commented.

Nripendra Mishra, the temple construction committee chairman, acknowledged the issue, explaining that it is expected because the 'Guru Mandap' is exposed to the sky and the completion of the Shikhar (spire) will cover this opening. He added that work on the first floor is in progress and the conduit will be closed once completed.

However, despite these assurances, the chief priest expressed scepticism about the committee's claim that the entire temple construction would be completed by December 2024, stating that it was "impossible" given the amount of work still required.

Ram Temple construction and responsibility
 

The Ram Temple was inaugurated on January 22, 2024, with PM Narendra Modi performing the main rituals of pran pratishtha, attended by at least 7,000 people, mostly high-profile celebrities. As one of the most expensive religious projects in recent times, the Ram Temple was constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 1,800 crore, with thousands of workers involved.

The leakage has raised concerns about the quality of construction, with the chief priest noting the lack of a proper drainage system. He warned that if the issue is not resolved soon, it would become difficult to offer prayers once the monsoon rains intensify.

Established by the government in February 2020, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust oversees the construction and management of the Ayodhya temple. The trust has amassed a significant Rs 3,500 crore in donations, with 60 per cent of these funds raised between February 2020 and 2021, ensuring ample resources for both construction and ongoing maintenance.

Roads around Ram Temple caving in
 

Four new routes in Ayodhya, inspired by the four Vedas — The Bhakti Path, the Ramjanmabhoomi Path, the Ram Path, and the Dharma Path — all leading to the temple and equipped with modern infrastructure like solar lights, have also started caving in within six months of the inauguration.

Heavy rains on Saturday night led to significant waterlogging on Rampath road and its surrounding lanes. Sewer water infiltrated houses in the area, causing damage to parts of Rampath road and other newly constructed roads in Ayodhya.

In response to the flooding, Ayodhya Mayor Girish Pati Tripathi stated, "I have initiated damage control since this morning. Several municipal teams have been deployed to remove water from the houses."

Opposition accuses BJP of corruption in Ram Temple construction
The opposition Congress party has capitalised on the incident, accusing the ruling BJP of "corruption" in the temple's construction. Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai alleged that the BJP has made Ayodhya a "hub of corruption by getting second-rate construction done in a hurry only to gain electoral benefits".

"Be it the coffin of the martyrs or the temple of God, all these have become opportunities for corruption for the BJP. Even the symbols of faith and purity in the country are just opportunities for loot for them," Rai accused the BJP in a statement on Monday.

[With inputs from agencies]

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First Published: Jun 25 2024 | 9:39 AM IST

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