Nation Current Affairs 11 Apr 2016 Kollam temple fire: ...

Kollam temple fire: Grandma’s concern ignored

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ARJUN RAGHUNATH
Published Apr 11, 2016, 7:01 am IST
Updated Apr 11, 2016, 7:01 am IST
Concrete blocks from the shattered shed in which the explosives were kept bombarded her house, badly damaging the drawing room wall.
Pankajakshi standing in front of her house near  Puttingal Temple, Paravur, Kollam. Her house was badly damaged in the explosion (Photo: DC)
 Pankajakshi standing in front of her house near Puttingal Temple, Paravur, Kollam. Her house was badly damaged in the explosion (Photo: DC)

PARAVUR: The authorities of Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur near Varkala have paid the price for ignoring the concerns of an 80-year-old retired school teacher who desperately wanted the authorities to scale down the fireworks.

It was on April 2 that A Pankajakshi, whose house is barely 50 metres from the temple, filed a complaint before the Kollam district collector against the competitive fireworks display. She cited serious health hazards caused by the explosions, especially for the aged and the kids. She had also detailed the damages inflicted on her house during previous years by the fireworks.

 

Concrete blocks from the shattered shed in which the explosives were kept bombarded her house, badly damaging the drawing room wall. The parapet was rattled, the false ceiling collapsed, and almost all the window panes cracked. The family had a narrow escape as they were in a relative’s house nearby during the fireworks.

“I am also an ardent devotee and used to offer ‘vedi vazhipadu’ frequently at this temple. But the competition fireworks display is unbearable," said Pankajakshi.
Pankajakshi, who is now settled in UK with her daughter Anitha and family, o comes down regularly for the festival. Based on her petition, local revenue officials visited the spot on April 3. “We learnt that subsequently the competitive fireworks event was banned. Nonetheless, minimum fireworks were allowed. Even yesterday there were no announcements of competition. But the intensity of the fireworks had not lessened and I had to move to another house nearby,” she said.

 

Every year her house suffered damages as the fireworks took place right in front of her house. “And each time, the temple authorities assured that they will repair the damages. But nothing was ever done. Though others too are concerned about the high intensity of the fireworks, they are not willing to complain,” she said.

Fear could be a reason. “On Sunday morning two persons came to our house and one of them harshly threatened us and even said that we all will die here. They even disrupted the free drinking water supply we offered to devotees,” Pankajakshi said.

 

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