: The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) of the Union government is keeping a close eye on the pyrotechnics at the Thrissur Pooram on Thursday.

PESO Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives C.R. Surendranathan pointed out that the agency was mandated to ensure ‘zero-noise' at festivals and celebrations where fireworks are used. The organisation, in view of the importance of Thrissur Pooram to the people of the State, had been trying to gradually bring down the noise level of the massive pyrotechnics. In spite of the attempts, the noise level at the Pooram had been far higher than permissible.

Mr. Surendranathan said the noise level at even the ‘Sample Vedikkett' on Tuesday had exceeded all limits. The PESO had been pressing the Pooram organisers and the government to drastically cut the noise level. Though the organisers had made some attempts to move to a ‘colourful pooram' with lots of colourful fireworks from a ‘noisy' one, the noise levels were extremely high, which violated international and national safety norms.

He pointed out that there was a paradigm shift in pyrotechnics the world over and the focus now was on colour and visual impact of the fireworks. “Granted, Thrissur Pooram is an important event in Kerala and is part of Thrissur's cultural life,” he said. “We don't want to take the fun out of it. But, Pooram organisers and the State should move with the times and adopt safety measures to save human lives and not harm people's health.”