MADURAI: Madurai collector T Anbalagan on Monday evening announced that the world-famous Alanganallur jallikattu will be held on January 16 this year. It will be preceded by the Avaniyapuram jallikattu on January 14, followed by the Palamedu event on January 15.
The collector announced the dates after a meeting with organisers and Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar to review preparations for the events.
Speaking to The New Indian Express after the meeting, Alanganallur jallikattu organiser J Sundararajan said that the number of bulls and bull tamers allowed to participate in the jallikattu events had been restricted this year in view of the pandemic.
"While at least 750 to 800 bulls and 800 tamers were allowed to participate in the Alanganallur event in the past, this year it has been reduced to less than half those numbers. Negotiations are still underway but it looks like only around 300 bulls and 400 tamers will be permitted," Sundararajan said.
The event will be conducted in eight batches from 8 am to 4 pm, he added.
Regarding the safety precautions, Sundararajan said officials have issued strict instructions to ensure that bull tamers and owners undergo testing for Covid-19 and submit the results two days prior to the event.
Only those with Covid negative certificates will be permitted in the event, he added.
Wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing are compulsory for both the spectators and the participants, he stated.
Thermal screening will also be done at entry points and barricades would be erected to ensure social distancing, he said.
"We have also been instructed to keep a stock of masks and sanitizers. Though the Covid-19 precautions may increase our financial burden, we are ready to do it as the safety of the participants and the public is more important," Sundararajan said.