THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Fire and Rescue Services Department has directed the authorities of Sree Parasurama Swamy Temple at Thiruvallam here to set up a reticulated gas system in the temple kitchen to avoid the risk of fire.
Recently, the department conducted a safety evaluation in the temple following an Express report that LPG cylinders stored without following safety precautions were posing a danger to the 13th-century temple.
“The cylinders can be taken out of the temple and kept at a safe place on the premises if a piped gas system is set up. The temple has been directed to set up a system with safety isolation valves on both ends,” said K Abdul Rasheed, the district fire officer.
As per rules, storage of LPG cylinders above the prescribed limit requires the District Collector’s sanction. Since the temple does not have the same, the department has reported the matter to the Collector.
The temple is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Storing of inflammable and explosive materials near protected monuments is a serious violation of rules. However, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which owns the temple, did not obey the ASI’s request to put in place a piped gas system.
At least half a dozen gas cylinders are kept inside the temple round the clock, hardly a few metres away from the sanctums of Lord Parasurama and Lord Brahma. Three commercial gas cylinders, each weighing 19 kg, are connected to the pipeline that fuels the stoves inside the ‘thidapally’, the temple kitchen. In addition to these, another cylinder is used to fuel a stove kept outside the ‘thidapally’ for preparing the free meal. ASI’s Thrissur Circle Office had asked the temple to switch to piped gas system a year ago.