In the end, the much-publicised AR Rahman show remained a non-starter. Reason? Rain played spoilsport. Do you think such mega shows that throw traffic out of gear should be hosted in remote areas of the city in close proximity to highly flammable oil installations and near the busy Seaport-Airport Road in Kochi which is devoid of any exit points in case of an emergency?
Sibin Thottathil Mathew, Pathanamthitta
Though music aficionados were eagerly waiting to enjoy their favourite celebrity’s stage performance, inadequate facilities and improper management of the venue marred the fun of the show leading to its cancellation. It is the sole responsibility of the sponsors to choose an ideal place which is away from busy roads. Otherwise, it may lead to unpredictable traffic congestion especially when the performer is a world renowned personality.
Though there are many convenient locations to organise such events, choosing a paddy field for such a mega show seems to be a gross negligence made by the corporate to convert a vast area of paddy field into an appropriate place for construction activities. It is the duty of the authority concerned to provide a licence for mega shows after analysing the hospitality and security of both the participants and the audience. It is better to avoid big shows near to the bustling roads and close to highly flammable oil installations.
Koshy PK, Mavelikkara
Keralites were in a jubilant mood of celebration when they came to know about the scintillating news of the conduct of a mega music show of A R Rahman in the heart of Kochi city. Seldom people get such a golden opportunity to have a glimpse of these wizards of the world of music. The announcement that the proposed show would not be held on the stipulated date owing to heavy rain, nevertheless, literally broke the heart of music lovers.
While holding a fabulous event like the performance of a music icon, the organisers should have broadly taken into account the booking of a suitable venue to provide elaborate and safe accommodation for the audience, ensuring flawless security. Instead, selecting an improvised arena without considering the safety of people where there is an onrush of vehicles and the proximity to highly inflammable installations only served to reveal the sinister motives of the coordinators.
Johny Zacharia, Alappuzha
It is nothing but lack of preparedness on the part of organisers to select the paddy field, converted, to be the concert venue at Irumpanam, that led to the cancellation of the show. Many had to park their vehicles at Kakkanad and walk about 6 km to Irumpanam to avoid the chock-a-block traffic. The respect that Malayalis have for Rahman’s talent was clearly visible in their dignified silence though they stood completely drenched in mud.
There was anger, disappointment, sadness and even numbness on many faces when they realised that the much-anticipated show was being cancelled due to ‘unexpected’ torrential rain. Everyone knew it would rain and were prepared for it and hence the organisers should have taken adequate precautions to conduct the concert proceedings instead of cancelling the event abruptly on the pretext of ensuring the safety of the people.
Dr Joseph Kunnirickal, Kochi
Myself being a huge Rahman fan was contemplating attending the show. Being a Kochiite, I was sceptical when I heard the location of the venue. First and foremost, despite the strategic importance of the road, the previous and present governments have failed miserably in developing the road scientifically. There are no proper traffic signal systems, exit roads or lighting in that area. Accidents are frequent and definitely not capable of handling a huge volume of traffic.
The Kaloor International Stadium was the best choice because it was recently revamped to international standards. Why the organisers selected this obscure location is beyond anyone’s comprehension. Next time, when a concert is planned, a covered hall is the best choice as in Kerala you can never predict rain. Also, the approach roads must be wide enough to accommodate the traffic. The cancellation of the event is a stark reminder of Kerala’s poor road and public infrastructure.
R A M VARMA, Kochi
A show by music maestro on a vast ground in Tripunithura was cancelled after the ground and the area around it turned extremely slushy after heavy rain. Thousands of people from across Kerala had a tough time reaching the venue owing to severe traffic congestion. Those who managed to wade through the slush to the venue were disappointed as the event had to be cancelled ultimately.
The organisers showed very poor organising capabilities for such a huge event and there was real lack of proper communication. With the rain playing spoilsport, hundreds of fans who had reached the venue well in advance returned home totally drenched and disappointed, after waiting for hours. Apart from traffic chaos, the venue was devoid of any exit points and was in close proximity to highly inflammable oil installations.
V S Unnithan, Kattanam
Before organising a show featuring a maestro like A R Rahman, the authorities must have taken all precautions to manage the crowd and provide parking facilities to motor vehicles that may converge to the venue. The disaster management machinery must wake up and do everything possible to avoid any kind of likely tragedy. Needless to say, it is better to organise such shows away from danger-prone refineries and the much-overused motorways like the Seaport-Airport Road, MG Road or the Bypass Road in Kochi. Kochi, being the commercial hub of Kerala, is host to countless commuters and vehicles 24x7. Therefore, every effort has to be taken to keep Kochi safe. It has to be borne in mind that prevention is better than cure.
E M Nazeer, Chirayinkeezhu
Even if chances are very remote for calamities, there must be safety precautions to the venues of programmes where people assemble enormously. These venues must be at safe distances from dangerous and accident-prone zones like highly flammable oil installations. The locations must be far away from busy streets to avoid traffic blocks. There must be clear access towards venues for vehicles of those who conduct rescue operations like civil defence staff, health care employees, firefighting staff etc. in case of casualties.
Facilities for first aid are inevitable at the venues. Safe and speedy exit systems must be ensured for those under panic giving priority to rescue children, aged people and women. The entertainment of some people must not be a harassment for others. It should not affect the smooth flow of traffic on the nearby roads. So it is good to conduct big functions at safe and remote places without causing disturbance to others.
Gokulapalan P K, Thevara
The much-publicised show remained a non-starter, as rain played spoilsport. Further, the flow of heavy traffic caused by the fans who rushed to the venue also threw the city traffic out of gear. Besides, the highly inflammable oil installations and the busy Seaport-Airport Road too were nearby. Had any exigency occurred in the nearby explosive area, the result would have been disastrous. If there are more exit points, the number of casualties can be reduced to some extent.
The difficulties experienced by rescue workers during fire accidents at high rise buildings point to the need to have sufficient safety provisions, in case of emergencies. While arranging programmes expecting a huge crowd of spectators, safety precautions should be given topmost priority!
Sandhyalekshmi S, Karunagappally
It is not the heavy downpour that caused inconvenience to people at the venue for the A R Rahman show, but the inefficiency of the authority in taking effective measures to tackle the situation. The authorities should not have favoured to conduct such a concert at a place like this, keeping in mind the unpredictable weather conditions. Chances of traffic congestion because of the nearby Seaport-Airport road and security concerns because of the place’s proximity to an oil installation should also have been kept in mind. There might have been a hidden agenda in selecting the particular paddy field to stage such a concert. It has become obvious that the prime objective of the organisers was not to entertain people but to level the land without any legal barriers.
N Rajendran, Palakkad
The problem was highlighted by an ardent fan when she spoke about having had to walk 2 km after parking her car on a slimy path. And the cancellation of the concert heightened the disappointment. In a way, rain that day was nature’s warning about the problematic venue and hazardous surroundings devoid of safety measures for a programme that would have attracted a record crowd.
With so much publicity beginning quite early for the show, every would-be attendee would have taken the best of arrangements for granted. For safety and conveniences for such shows, the best method in future would be for the representatives of the performers to inspect the venue along with the organisers to make sure the latter adheres to the former’s requirements before the agreement is signed.
Pious Alummoottil, Udayamperoor
The much-publicised music concert, which was scheduled to be held at a controversial land at Irumpanam that is close to highly inflammable oil installations, was cancelled. The reason: God sends rain havoc. I wonder who else would give sanction for such a mega show at this venue disregarding murky land, narrow and highly congested Seaport-Airport road and above all the proximity to dangerous oil installations.
People believe that there was some highly placed intention to convert the land for high-rise buildings in the shadow of the show. All kinds of shows/programmes, where a large number of people gather, should be conducted at places where there are good roads and hospitals, with strong roofing facilities for the safety of human life.