THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Motorists may be requesting devotees to place ‘Pongala’ hearths on footpaths and spare the roads. But the officials of Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) plead the other way.
The KRFB has sent requests to the District Collector, Commissioner of Police and the officials of Attukal Temple Trust to ask people to abstain from placing Pongala hearths on tiled footpaths.
The KRFB officials fear that the heat from the Pongala hearths would make the costly tiles brittle.
Project director of City Road Improvement Project (CRIP) Anil Kumar Pandala said that the heat would destroy the surface coating over the tiles. “These are not ordinary tiles used in houses. They have polymer coating, which will be affected by the heat. The tile will become brittle,” he said.
Last year, the TRDCL, which is carrying out the CRIP works, had to replace the tiles over the footpath from RR Lamp to Students’ Centre, which were destroyed during the Pongala. “Since we hadn’t completed the road works, we had to bear the entire expenses,” Pandala said.
This time, the Attukal Temple Trust authorities have agreed to give instructions to devotees through mikes. Usually, in addition to the footpaths, devotees also place hearths on the major roads in the city, causing severe traffic blocks.