With unspecified ‘controls’, Kerala allows fireworks displays during Thissur Pooram
Thiruvananthapuram: The recent tragedy at Kerala’s Puttingal temple that over 100 lives appears to have fallen short of delivering the right lessons in th state.
Despite the fire tragedy that struck as a result of fireworks displays, the Kerala High Court has approved the use of fireworks during the state's biggest festival, the upcoming Thrissur Pooram that will be held August 17-18.
Kerala’s chief minister Oomen Chandy has also ruled out imposing any ban on the use of fireworks in the state, saying it was the job of authorities to ensure that such incidents do not occur. The CM, without specifying, said that use of fireworks will be allowed in the state “with strict controls and checks".
The Kerala HC today allowed the use of sound-emitting firecrackers after dusk during the Thrissur Pooram, a mere two days after it banned sound-making fireworks in all places of worship in the state, between sunset and sunrise.
Surprisingly, there was no comment on the use of the dangerous fireworks displays and the court too focussed all its attention over the use of noise-emitting fireworks. The High Court said the noise level of the fireworks has to be kept below 125 decibels, as specified in the Explosives Rules Act and the Environment Protection Act.
Chandy said that the general consensus at an all-party meeting on Thursday was that bringing a blanket ban on events associated with religious institutions was not a practical one.
"At the moment, there are already rules and regulations on how to go about such events. The meeting wanted that from now on, the enforcing of the law should be taken up with utmost seriousness and rules will not be given the go-by," said Chandy.
The Kerala court said that it instituted the ban on Tuesday, not having realized that a 2007 Supreme Court (SC) order allowed the use of firecrackers - even at night - during religious customs such as temple festivals.
Therefore, the Thrissur Pooram can be carried out as has been customarily done, as stated in the SC's order of March 26, 2007, the bench held.
As for the probe into Sunday's Paravur temple tragedy, the court decided to monitor the crime branch investigation and asked that team to report on the progress they've made by May 18. The court is not commenting on the quality of the investigation at present, it said.
The Puttingal temple tragedy occurred when sparks from fireworks fell on a store room where even more firecrackers were kept. No permission had been given to hold the display.