T. Ramavarman

Crowd management schemes to be introduced during fireworks display

Assurance given to PESO officials

Research project on production of safe fireworks planned

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Major festival committees of different temples and churches across the State have assured the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) officials that they will earnestly strive to reduce the noise levels of the fireworks display and to make them a visual treat from this year.

Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives C.R. Surendranath and Joint Controller R. Venugopal said here that the festival committee office-bearers gave this assurance at a meeting convened by the PESO authorities in Kochi on Wednesday. Representatives of over 200 festival committees from Kasaragod to Parassala had attended the meeting besides the district administration officials from Thrissur and Palakkad.

“We told them that the fireworks displays are meant for the spectators who assemble at the festival grounds to watch them, and not intended to disrupt the sleep of those staying at their homes. The festival committees will have to comply with the Supreme Court order on the noise levels and timings of the fireworks display. They have to shift their focus on adding more colour and light to the displays. They have been told that this shift must be visible from this year itself. Their response was very positive,” Mr. Surendranath and Mr. Venugopal said.

The festival committees agreed to sponsor a techno-scientific research project on the production of safe display fireworks, by the chemical engineering departments of the Government Engineering College, Thrissur, and Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode. The festival committees will earmark Rs.5 lakh for the project, which would aim at scientifically documenting the existing production methods, and lay down standards for making the fireworks more safe.

Pointing out that at present display fireworks production was taking place only in Kerala and that it was being done in a crude manner, the PESO officials said the proposed research project would go a long way in handing over the production technology in a scientific manner to future generations. The office-bearers of the festival committees of Thrissur Pooram, Nenmara-Vellangi Vela and of the Pavaratty St. Joseph’s Shine Thirunal are among the members of the core committee constituted for supporting the research.

The PESO officials directed the festival committees that they should give emphasis on introducing systems for professional management of the crowds which assemble to watch fireworks display.

All major festival committee were asked to set up their own magazines for storing the fireworks display items, in accordance with the PESO guidelines. The pre-approved routes of the display cannot be altered under any circumstances. Mortars and other display equipment should be subjected to inspection by the PESO authorities. Potassium chlorate or any other banned chemicals should not be used in the production of fireworks. The committee agreed to restrict the size of the dynamites to 12 inches.