SC nod to repair Baba Budangiri shrine

A bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran said: “Preservation of the shrine is necessary under the supervision of the technical experts of ASI and GSI. “Having regard to the nature of the shrine and its importance as a place of worship, maintenance and preservation should be done in a professional manner. Sanctity of the shrine should be maintained,” the order pronounced in the court said.

The bench said the conservation job would be performed by the contractor under the strict supervision and guidance of ASI and GSI. Appearing for the Karnataka government, advocates Basavaprabhu S Patil and V N Raghupathy submitted that the district administration had surveyed the damage to the cave and undertaken codification of the rituals.

Due to heavy rain and natural factors, the cave had been substantially damaged and a portion had collapsed on June 29, 2008, the government said.

“Therefore, in order to preserve and maintain the cave, in the interest of its devotees the district administration has taken up the work by obtaining necessary approval from the government,’’ said the application filed by the State government. The State government said the preservation work of the cave has nothing to do with the ritual and rites being performed or claimed in the institution. “The present work is only to preserve and protect the cave from further collapse,’’ said the application.

Karnataka said if the conservation work was not taken up on priority basis, there would be further damage to the cave and it might collapse.

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