HC nod for fireworks display at temple

Collector had denied permission for event citing safety concerns

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the District Collector to permit the Ernakulam Kshetra Kshema Samiti to conduct fireworks display on two days in connection with the annual festival of Ernakulam Shiva Temple.

The Bench comprising Justice C.T. Ravikumar and Justice N. Nagaresh directed the District Collector to issue permit by way of licence to conduct fireworks on February 5 and 7 strictly by using the firework items mentioned in the application submitted to the district authorities seeking permission.

The court while issuing the directives stayed the District Collector’s order rejecting the request of the committee.

The Bench also ordered that barricades be put up at a distance of 100 metres from the firework display site and that no persons except those who handled the materials be permitted to enter within the 100-metre radius.

The court directed the authorities, including the police and Fire and Rescue

Services Department, to ensure that competent officers were deputed to see that the fireworks would be conducted in accordance with the conditions and that only permitted firework items were used during the display.

When the petition came up for hearing, the Government pleader submitted that the Collector had refused licence for the fireworks display on the ground that the temple authorities would not be able to provide the distance norm of 100 metres between the crowd and the display site.

The court pointed out that the authorities had not carried out any measurement to find out whether a space of 100-metres distance could be made available at the temple site or not.

In his petition, Samiti secretary A. Balagopalan said that the temple festival was one of the grand festivals in the city. Every year on the day of ‘Valiya vilakku’, ‘Pakalpooram’ was conducted and immediately after the ‘Pakalpooram’, fireworks were displayed as a customary practice.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 7:28:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hc-nod-for-fireworks-display-at-temple/article30744050.ece

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