Fireworks show now approved for Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur, April 11 (IANS) A day after a fire disaster in a Kerala temple killed 109 people, authorities on Tuesday gave conditional approval for the hugely popular fireworks show at the Thrissur Pooram festival.

The fireworks display is the most important event at Thrissur Pooram.

The direction came a day after a huge quantity of fireworks went up in flames at the Puttingal Devi temple in Paravur town in Kollam district on Sunday, killing 109 people and injuring more than 350.

Addressing reporters here, Thrissur Collector V. Ratheesan said it had been decided to give sanction to the fireshows show at Thrissur Pooram but with conditions.

“The two temples have been given permission to use a maximum of 2,000 kg each of explosive powder to make the crackers. The sound decibel will be less than 125.

“Also, the distance from the display area and the spectators should be adhered to strictly,” he said. “A special squad will be set up to monitor everything.”

The meeting was held soon after the traditional flag post was raised, signalling the official beginning of Thrissur Pooram, billed as the mother of all festivals in Kerala.

The raising of the flag post at the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples is the first official programme of the annual Thrissur Pooram.

During the festival, more than 50 elephants will be paraded and there will be a spectacular firecracker display too.

The history of Pooram dates back to the late 18th century and was started by Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Kochi state.

On Sunday, after the fire tragedy at Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur in Kollam district, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that a blanket ban on fireworks was not practical.

But he said strict controls would be maintained henceforth.

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