If VHP design is followed, temple may take at least five years to build – Times of India

AYODHYA: The decks have been cleared for construction of a Ram temple, but it will take at least five more years and 250 expert artisans working tirelessly for the shrine to be completed, were it to be done according to Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) design, the temple workshop’s supervisor has claimed.
There is no artisan at the moment at the VHP karyashala since the last expert engraver, Rajnikanth Sompura, died earlier in July this year. Work at the VHP karyashala has been going on since 1990, eight hours every day, but only half of the structure – that of the ground floor – has been completed in almost three decades.
This means, as of now, 106 pillars out of the total 212 that are to be made are ready. These lie stacked at the temple workshop in Ayodhya. “There are no workers on the site at present. If work has to begin again, we will need at least 250 engravers and five years to put the temple together,” said temple workshop supervisor, Annubhai Sompura.
“The foundation will have to be laid, stones transferred and cemented. White cement will then have to be put on the entire structure. The temple cannot just be put together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,” said the 80-year-old.
“Half the pillars are ready, walls for the sanctum sanctorum are done and the marble ‘chaukath’ for the temple is also done. Around 50% of the work is yet to be done, with 106 more pillars, the shikhar and the roof to be built,” said Annubhai, in Gujarat at the moment. “I came here for a wedding but engravers have started calling me up. Things will be clearer once I am back in Ayodhya in December,” he told TOI over the phone.
Chief of VHP’s Awadh prant, Sharad Sharma, said, “We have not decided how things will be taken forward. The Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas members will meet and decide. Right now, our focus is on peace in the country.” It was in 1984 that shila pujan (foundation ritual) for the temple was performed by the VHP. After a preliminary donation of one rupee and twenty five paise from devotees, a total of Rs 8 crore was received for the construction, VHP office-bearers said.
“When it began, there were 150 carvers along with hundreds of labourers who were working on the stones coming from Rajasthan. The money flow too was consistent then. In the first 10 years, work was taken up quickly. Then, over time, the pace slowed down and the number of artisans and labourers dwindled,” Sharma added.

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