Work on to prevent repeat of last year’s New Year horror
Report reveals Fort Kochi’s inadequacy in holding large-scale event
KOCHI: In a bid to prevent a repeat of the chaotic scenes witnessed during the burning of Pappanji in Fort Kochi last New Year’s eve, the district administration and Kochi corporation, in association with the tourism department, have outlined plans to host similar celebrations across the city.
The strategic shift follows a report submitted by the Fort Kochi RDO last year highlighting the place’s inadequacy in accommodating such a large-scale event. The report strongly recommended diversifying the locations to prevent congestion in Fort Kochi.
“Traditionally, New Year’s celebrations in the city have been centralised in Fort Kochi, leading to an overwhelming influx of people. To avert last year’s stampede-like situation, we intend to organise parallel celebrations in Durbar Hall grounds in collaboration with the tourism department on New Year’s Eve.
The move aims to distribute the crowd and reduce the strain on Fort Kochi,” said Mayor M Anilkumar, who convened a meeting with Ernakulam MLA T J Vinodh, District Collector N S K Umesh, DTPC officers, and others. Authorities are also contemplating hosting the celebrations in Vypeen and Palluruthy areas.
“Burning of Pappanji is entrenched in Fort Kochi’s tradition, making it exclusive to the locale. However, we are exploring opportunities to stage music and cultural programmes on New Year’s Eve in other areas. Plans are on to ensure smooth execution of the celebrations across the city,” Anilkumar said.
Illuminating the streets with LED lights for the celebration is also on the cards. “We aim to brighten up the city’s streets on New Year’s night. Also, Kudumbashree will organise a food fest at the JLN Stadium in Kaloor. A captivating flower show is planned at Marine Drive. Our objective is to unify the events, providing an unforgettable New Year’s experience to visitors. A meeting with all the stakeholders will be held in a few days,” Vinodh said.
Several people, including women, were injured in the stampede-like situation last year. The police personnel deployed in Fort Kochi had an extremely tough time managing the crowd. Many had complained of breathing difficulties.
Meanwhile, a meeting convened under Umesh’s leadership last week decided to implement a slew of measures to reduce congestion at Fort Kochi. Restricting the jankar service to 7pm, arranging transportation and parking facilities, health services, setting up giant screens across Fort Kochi to telecast the burning of Pappanji, placing barricades, and ensuring sufficient bio-toilets were among the steps that the meeting decided to take at Fort Kochi.
- Authorities are contemplating hosting the celebrations in Vypeen and Palluruthy areas
- Kudumbashree will organise a food fest at the JLN Stadium in Kaloor. A captivating flower show has also been planned at Marine Drive