The Central Explosives Department has given the go ahead to use fireworks during the Thrissur Pooram festival in Kerala. The approval was given with strict guidelines.
Following the temple fire tragedy at Puttingal in Kollam last year, which killed 111 people and injured over 350 others, a committee was constituted by the department to look into temple festivals.
While the Central Explosives Department has refused to lift the ban on using dynamites, it allowed the use of low-decibel firecrackers such as 'olappadakkam' (crackers made of palm leaves), Gundu (shell 6.8 diameters), 'amittu' and 'kuzhiminnalâ€™ (shell-15 cm diameter).
It, however, continued to ban â€˜kuzhiminnalâ€™ of more than 8 or 10 inches.
Organisers have also been asked to submit a list of chemicals used in fireworks to the department, based on which tests will be carried out on the crackers. Only those fireworks with permitted chemicals will be granted approvals for display.
Safety measures like hydrants have also been installed in advance at the Thrissur Pooram.
The week-long Pooram festival, will culminate on Saturday in a grand finale, marked by a fireworks display. A test run of the fireworks display will be held on Wednesday.
The Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswoms are the main organisers of the Pooram.
Last year also saw restrictions on Thrissur Pooram fireworks display as it was immediately after the Puttingal tragedy. These restrictions, which are also being enforced this year, include the use of low decibel crackers, erecting barricades to ensure a 'huge distance' between the fireworks arena and spectators, besides increased security at the venue â€“ the famous Vadakkumnatha temple ground.
Thrissur is best known for its Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala.