Trivandrum: Taking a cue from the Puttingal Temple tragedy in Paravur that killed 109 people, the Kerala government on Tuesday stepped in to address the rising safety concerns over firework shows in the state by calling an all-party meeting to discuss a cracker ban in the state.
“I have convened an all-party meeting on April 14, 2 p.m. In that meeting we will discuss this (cracker ban) and in that meeting concerned ministries opposition leader and all party leaders will be there,” Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media here.
“This is a major policy decision, we will take a proper decision after the deliberations of that meeting,” he added.
“Now the situation is under control and 20 persons injured at the Kollam and seven persons in Medical College in Trivandrum. We are getting the services from Delhi, Coimbatore… so everything is there all facilities are there, we all are confident and we can do maximum,” Chandy said.
“We also have told hospitals that treatments of the fire victims has to be done free of cost,” he added.
Earlier, a senior Kerala High Court Judge suggested had suggested seeking immediate judicial intervention by the court to stop “man-made” tragedies like Kollam mishap.
In a letter to Registrar General of the HC, Justice V. Chitambaresh said, “The time is more than ripe for immediate judicial intervention to stop such man-made tragedies by banning the use of high decibel explosive fire crackers.”
The ‘Devaswom Bench’ comprising Justices Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Anu Sivaraman will consider the petition on Tuesday afternoon. Justice Chitambaresh said, “The right to profess, practice and propagate the religion of one’s choice under Article 25 of the Constitution of India does not take in the freedom to use dangerous crackers.”
“Pyrotechnics display using ‘Amittu’, ‘Gundu’, ‘Kathinavedi’ etc have to be banned and at best only low decibel Chinese-type crackers can be permitted for display,” he said.
He urged the Registrar General to place his letter before Devaswom bench and consider if it could be treated as a Public Interest Litigation and appropriate interim orders passed. The Judge said the fireworks tragedy at Puttingal Devi Temple at Paravur in Kollam has left more than 100 people dead.