Thrissur (Kerala), April 15: Against the backdrop of a deadly fire tragedy at a Kollam temple, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday stressed that the Thrissur Pooram fireworks display would be held keeping in mind the safety and security and the guidelines of the court.
The fireworks display is the most important event at the Thrissur Pooram. This season it would be held on Sunday night and extend to the early hours of Monday.
Chandy along with three of his cabinet colleagues met officials and the temple authorities in charge of the Pooram here on Friday and discussed the security steps being taken for the event.
"There is a Supreme Court directive regarding the conduct of the Pooram festivities, which includes parading of elephants and the fireworks display. In the wake of the recent tragedy, safety and security would be given the highest priority. This been agreed to by the temple authorities," Chandy told reporters after the meeting.
He added that the event would be held in all its traditional grandeur.
The Kerala High Court is overseeing the crime branch probe into the temple disaster at the Puttingal Devi temple in Paravur town in Kollam district on Sunday in which 114 people were killed and more than 350 injured.
On Thursday, at a special sitting the court asked the organisers of the Thrissur Pooram to ensure that all safety guidelines are observed.
Speaking to IANS, state Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who took part in Friday's meeting, said that clear guidelines have been given and the organisers and the officials have been asked to adhere to these in the conduct of the Thrissur Pooram event.
"Distance will be strictly maintained between the fireworks display and the spectators, besides very strong barricades will be erected at vantage points to see that none oversteps the security line. The event will be held in the way it's being held all these years, but the only difference this time would be that safety and security would not be compromised with," said Radhakrishnan.
The Pooram dates back to the late 18th century. It was started by Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Kochi state.
Sakthan Thampuran unified the 10 temples situated around Vadakunnathan temple and organised the celebration of Thrissur Pooram as a mass festival.
The participating temples include the Vadakunnathan temple, where the Pooram is held and the other two temples, the Krishna temple at Thiruvambadi and the Devi temple at Paramekkavu.
The major event of the Pooram this season begins Sunday afternoon with the parading of more than 50 elephants. It will end with a dazzling firecracker display in the early hours of Monday.
State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said from now on, steps would be taken to see how the fireworks at religious institutions can be converted to the use of the latest techniques like laser displays that are very popular abroad.