SC verdict on Pooram fireworks cheers devotees

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on March 26, 2007

Pooram devotees in the cultural capital of the State heaved a sigh of relief on Monday after getting the Supreme Court verdict that there would be no restriction on pyrotechnics and melam (percussion) for the Thrissur Pooram, which would be held this year on April 27. The apex court order has cleared the uncertainty regarding the conduct of the Pooram in all its traditional pomp and colour.

The Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms, the governing bodies of the two desams that conduct the Thrissur Pooram had decided to hold the festival as a mere ritual with just one elephant if the Supreme Court ruling was to be in the negative. The general body meetings of the two desams had also endorsed the decision.

As the permission from the Supreme Court has come for holding the famous fireworks display and melam, preparations resumed for the conduct of the Pooram in all its colours. Both the Devaswoms informed that they would try to lessen the sound intensity of the fireworks this year and would focus on creating magic with colours in the event. They also decided to step up security measures for the smooth conduct of the fireworks display.

Eleven persons, all workers belonging to Vennoor village of Pazhayannur in the district, were killed in an accident at a shed for the preparation of pyrotechnics at Padukkad near here.

Though this had generated a serious debate on the necessity of holding firework display in a city centre walled by multi-storey buildings in a circle. People of Thrissur were stood for the conduct of the event.

Demands had arisen to destroy the remnants of the firework items safely, but the district administration was, in the end, forced to allow, “burning to the finish” the prepared items at the same venue in three lots.

In the preceding year also, a pyrotechnic contractor had died in an accident during the Thrissur Pooram. In the same year, one person had died in Uthralikavu during the “kalaasam” of the firework display.

However, some held that the persons had died of cardiac arrest, while others attributed the death to cardiac arrest due to unbearable sound levels of the fireworks.

Thrissur Member of Legislative Assembly and former Assembly Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan, who is also the district Congress committee president, expressed happiness at the Supreme Court acceptance for conducting firework display on Pooram.

Ramakrishnan said that the confusion created by the March 16 Supreme Court order had caused grief to not only Thrissurians but also to several people living in various parts of the world.

Revenue Minister KP Rajendran said that he is very happy as the confusion ends with the colourful conduct of Pooram was removed. “The rumours had made the people of Thrissur, irrespective of religion, sad.

This has now been removed,” Rajendran said. He added that a permanent solution could be found only through a proper legislation.

Though the Supreme Court order is relevant to festivals of all the places of worship in Kerala, it has special significance for Thrissur district, which has some of the greatest temple festivals with the best pyrotechnic displays.

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