Thiruvananthapuram: Reeling under the unprecedented havoc caused by heavy rains, the Kerala government today decided to do away with the ‘Onam’ celebrations this year and instead utilise the amount for relief operations.
Thirtynine persons have so far lost their lives in landslides and floods caused due to the heavy rains, which has destroyed 20,000 houses and damaged 10,000 km of roads in the state since August 8. The government has resolved not to organise programmes held every year as part of the onam festivities, Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, told reporters here. The amount set apart for the celebrations would be used for relief work in the state, he added.
The government organises events across district headquarters and in the state capital during the week-long ‘Onam’ celebrations. ‘Onam’ (harvest festival) falls on August 25 this year.
City streets are illuminated, handicrafts fairs, folk arts and various programmes are organised during the celebrations which concludes with a grand procession of floats in the state capital. Earlier, the state government had also postponed the annual Nehru trophy boat race.