THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Disaster Management Authority in association with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will prepare a disaster risk reduction plan for protected monuments and sites in Kerala.
The Kerala office of the ASI manages 28 monuments and nine sites. They include forts, temples, Jain monuments, a church and a palace. The risk reduction plan will have measures to enhance fire and electrical safety and deal with natural calamities.
About 12 monuments under the ASI have wooden structures which are at high risk of developing a blaze. Ten of them are temples visited by large number of devotees and where wicker lamps of different forms are used.
“The risks faced by each monument varies - depending on various factors like the type of structure and its location. For eg., a riverside structure needs a flood risk reduction plan or a temple requires a proper fire safety system, said Sekhar M Kuriakose, member-secretary of the SDMA.
Recently, the ASI had sought the SDMA’s intervention for installing a piped gas system at the Thiruvallam Sree Parasuramaswami temple. The temple is facing a serious risk since about half a dozen LPG cylinders are used inside the temple complex posing risk to the safety of the monument and devotees
“Damage to heritage structures cause irreparable loss. Hence, steps to avoid risks and reduce damage gain significance. The state’s plan will adhere to the National Disaster Management Authority guidelines for cultural heritage sites,” Sekhar said.
“In the case of places of worship, safety systems should be put in place without affecting the rituals, customs and traditions. There would be consultation with all stakeholders,” he said.