Work on the foundation for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya would start by the end of January, said the trust entrusted with its construction, even as it acknowledged that the study of the soil was still not complete even after seven months.
From the day the construction starts, the temple would be completed in 36-39 months, said Champat Rai, general secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra.
“We had hoped construction would have started in June but the study has not been completed [even] after seven months. The results are not matching. There is sand, crumbly sand, under the ground or some old debris lying deep,” said Mr. Rai at a press conference in Kanpur on Sunday.
Mr. Rai also said that the Indian Space Research Organisation had sent them pictures of a channel (stream) of River Sarayu under the site of construction.
The first soil testing took place in February 2020. Mr. Rai stressed that the foundation work would take place only after clear results. “If there is any confusion in the results, the tests are done again. This reflects the seriousness about the foundation of the temple,” he said.
Engineers and experts from around 10 institutes, including the National Geophysical Research Institute (Hyderabad), Central Building Research Institute (Roorkee), IIT-Bombay, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Madras, were engaged in the study, he added.
Work on the temple was being done keeping in mind its load-bearing capacity and longevity, Mr. Rai said. The temple will be 360 feet in length, 235 feet wide and 161 feet in height, while the plinth will be 16.5 feet above the ground level, he added.
The trust will start a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of the temple from Makar Sankranti. Over four lakh workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been tasked with collecting the funds and reaching out to people in four lakh villages across the country. The target would be to have “man-to-man and door-to-door” contact with 55-60 crore people during the fund raising, said Mr. Rai.