Protesting against the district administration’s decision to impose restrictions on the fireworks during temple festivals, festival coordination committees will observe a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Thrissur on Thursday.
Various devaswoms, the BJP and the Congress party have extended support for the hartal.
According to reports, the cabinet had given a nod for conducting temple festivals including the famous Thrissur pooram, but the district administration refusing permission to use high-decibel fireworks for Uthralikkavu temple festival on February 26 has irked many.
The festival coordination committee demands that there should not be any change in the way temple festivals, including Thrissur pooram, are conducted. The coordinators also alleged that such restrictions were being imposed only on temple festivals in Thrissur and not in any other district.
The Thrissur district administration refused permission for the use of hazardous items like gundu, amittu and kuzhiminni during firework display, in the backdrop of the Puttingal temple tragedy in 2016 that claimed more than a hundred lives.
Ramavarman T reports for The Times of India that there are about 1,450 registered temple festivals across the state, of which 550 arrange fireworks display.
District Collector A Kowsigan believes that temple administrations will abide by the central laws, when enforced properly. Many temples have already moved on to low decibel and fancy fireworks, the Collector said.
The coordinators now want the government to pass an ordinance that will allow the conduct of the festivals without any restrictions.
"They cannot use prohibited items like gundu, kuzhiminni and amittu in the display as per the existing laws, and the district officials cannot give sanction for use of such items, unless those laws are amended by the government. I have submitted the report to the minister and it is for the government to take a call,” Industries department joint secretary Shailendra Singh told TOI. He was deputed by Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a ground-level assessment last month.