THRISSUR: With the stage now set for the Thrissur Pooram on Monday, the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms are upbeat on staging a colourful fireworks display billed as one of the most eye-catching in the entire country. The traditional fireworks manufacturers are sparing no effort to ensure this year’s pooram fireworks will be among the most memorable in recent times.
“It requires efforts lasting over two-and-a-half month to prepare the items for the pooram. We have been doing it for several years and I followed in the footsteps of my father Madhavan,” says P M Saji, who leads the pyrotechnics of Thiruvambady faction. According to the traditional fireworks’ manufacturers, the work starts with the choice of the right kind of paper for making the ‘cora’ or containers which carry the explosive chemicals.
“It is made according to prescribed measurements and quantities. A fortnight before the pooram, the containers are filled with the chemicals,” he says.
As the workers start to fill the magazines with finished items at Thekkinkadu Maidan, another group of labourers are busy digging pits to fill the items for the sample fireworks on Friday.
“When permission was denied for chain palm crackers, we were worried since the work began long ago following the Supreme Court nod. The workers had collected over two lakh palm leaves for the purpose and dried it under the sun since even smaller festivals were granted permission to use palm crackers,” said the artisans.
The temple devaswoms have been given permission to burst gundu, kuzhiminni, amittu and garland crackers or chain palm crackers for the pooram. “Though strict regulations have affected the work, pyrotechnics are now a less risky affair compared to the past,” said Sreenivasan Kundannoor, who manufactures fireworks items for Paramekkavu faction.
PETA wants jumbo to be sent to sanctuary
Kochi: Animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has submitted an urgent representation to Thrissur District Collector and Kerala Chief Wildlife Warden requesting that elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran be seized and sent to a sanctuary where the elephant can finally spend rest of its days free from chains. The group also urged the authorities to consider banning the use of elephants in all festivals.
Owners ready to lease out jumbos
Thrissur: The Elephant Owners Federation informed the meeting on Friday that it is ready to provide elephant for the pooram upon providing clearance for the Thechikottukavu Ramachandran.
HC declines to intervene in plea for parading Raman
Kochi: The High Court on Friday declined to intervene in a petition filed by Thechikkottukavu Devaswom, owner of the elephant Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran, seeking permission to parade it for the opening ceremony of the pooram. Disposing of the petition, Justice Anu Sivaraman held it is for the authorities to take an appropriate decision on the issue. The HC order came on a plea from Perathrikkovu Thechikkottukavu Poothrikkovu Devaswom.
No entry within 100 metres of fireworks
Thrissur: The police have restricted the entry of public within 100 metres of fireworks during the sample pyrotechnics at Thekkinkad Maidan on Saturday. As per the norms, entry is restricted to areas that fall within 100 metres of fireworks, including Swaraj Round. Though people have been demanding permission to enter Swaraj Round during fireworks, it will not be allowed owing to security concerns, said the police.
AAG: Ensure onlookers’ safety if permission is granted
Kochi: Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ranjith Thampan has given legal opinion that it’s the District Level Festival Committee headed by Thrissur District Collector which will take a decision on the request to permit the elephant Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran for Thrissur Pooram and pass the order forthwith. If the committee decides to grant permission, the owner of the elephant should be asked to give a written undertaking that he will shoulder the entire responsibility. According to the AAG, while taking a decision the committee should ensure the elephant is properly insured.
No complete ban on the elephant, say owners
Kochi: The owners of Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran said there was no blanket ban on parading the tusker during temple festivals. In a plea filed before the District Collector seeking permission to parade the elephant during the Thrissur Pooram, they said an expert committee comprising B N Ajan Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests(CCF) and Parambikkulam Tiger Reserve director, had submitted a report on March 6. According to it, the elephant could be allowed to participate in the temple festivals in Thrissur district only so as to do away with long distance travel and avoid its transportation during night.