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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 23 May 2024 12.41 PM IST

Safety is key; High Court orders six-meter distance between elephants and crowd for Thrissur pooram

pooram

KOCHI: High Court has directed that there should be a distance of six meters between the elephants and the crowd during the Thrissur Pooram. Meanwhile, a vacation bench headed by Justices Jayashankar Nambiar and P Gopinath ordered that nothing should be allowed, including chendamelam and that this should be strictly observed. The court said that the safety of the people should be considered more important than anything else and cannot be compromised. Given the hot weather in Kerala, the court emphasized that maintaining distance is necessary in this situation. Earlier, the forest department had withdrawn the order specifying a distance limit of 50 meters.

When the case was considered today, the Thiruvambadi Devaswom informed that they are recommending a distance of five to six meters. This was then allowed by the court. The court also held that the ritual of raising a lamp in front of the main elephant is permissible. However, the court also directed that there should be no fireworks and chendamelam at this distance.

Thrissur Pooram is scheduled for the 19th of this month. As part of the event, fitness tests of elephants will be conducted on the 18th. 100 elephants are participating in the Pooram. The fitness test will be conducted by a committee headed by the district collector. However, the court directed that it will be the responsibility of the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department to ensure that the elephants are fit.

The court pointed out that despite having a fitness certificate, untoward incidents happen to elephants. Therefore, the Chief Wildlife Warden should ensure that there is no compromise in the fitness certificate. The court directed that the presidents of Paramekkavu and Tiruvambadi Devaswoms should be present when the elephants are being tested for fitness and should not interfere in matters related to the test. However, they can convey to the committee what they agree on.

A squad led by the forest department should be present during the Pooram. It will consist of a 100-member squad from various disciplines. The court also stated that the forest department can decide who should be included in the squad. Advocates Sandesh Raja and Suresh Menon will attend the fitness test as representatives of the court. They will submit the inspection report to the court.

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TAGS: SAFETY, HIGHCOURT, ELEPHANT, CROWD, THRISSUR, POORAM, SIX METER, DISTANCE
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