Attukal pongala festival area covers 29 municipal wards
The Fire and Rescue Services has identified at least 20 places, including fuel and cooking gas outlets, wastepaper depots, and warehouses of plastic and styrofoam products, as high fire-risk locations in the Attukal Pongala festival area, which covers 29 municipal wards.
Divisional Fire Officer R. Prasad said he had directed all fuel depot and warehouse owners to rope off their precincts and prominently display fire-risk caution boards.
He warned devotees against setting up hearths in the vicinity of such high fire-risk locations. Ideally, they should refrain from lighting the hearths using kerosene or other inflammable liquid.
The Divisional Fire Officer has directed owners of petrol pumps, warehouses, textile shops, cinema halls, and other commercial establishments to ensure that their in-house fire-fighting equipment, mainly portable extinguishers and sand-filled fire-buckets, were in order.
Traders in the festival area have been told not to erect thatched awnings and other structures made of easily combustible material in front of their establishments. The public should refrain from lighting fire-crackers on roadsides.
At least 17 fire-engines and 10 motorbike-mounted water-mist-based fire-fighting equipment will be deployed on standby at Attukal, South Kalady, Iranimuttom, Attakulangara, Pazhavangadi, Statue, Thampanoor, Chakkai, Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, Killipalam, Konchiravila, Thampanoor, Ayurveda College, Eenchakkal, East Fort and Manacaud. For the first time, the department will station a fire-engine inside the Vanchiyoor court premises on the festival day. More than 225 fire-fighters will be deployed on festival duty. The department has also deployed eight tankers to transport water to different locations from the central treatment plant at Water Works.