In the light of the tragic firecracker accident in Puttingal Devi Temple, Kollam district, Kerala, in which more than 100 people died, Andhra Pradesh government has banned the display of fireworks at temple festivals across the state. 

 

Pointing out the that the competitive fireworks display had led to the avoidable human tragedy at the Kerala temple, Andhra Pradesh government has instructed all temple executive officers to ensure that the Kollam-like accident is not repeated.

The AP government has asked the executive officer of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which is not only the  biggest temple, but also observes numerous rituals all through the year, to undertake a thorough review of Tirumala as well as all other shrines under his control and upgrade facilities to prevent fire accidents.

 

While issuing the instructions, the government said  it was necessary to draw lessons from the "unfortunate incident so that such tragedies can be averted". The instructions  issued Wednesday evening by JSV Prasad, principal secretary to endowments department come into immediate effect.

 

The government has asked the executive officer of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which is not only the  biggest temple, but also observes numerous rituals all through the year, to undertake a thorough review of Tirumala as well as all other shrines under his control and upgrade facilities to prevent fire accidents.

 

 

As per the instructions, no fireworks should  be used as part of any temple festival. Even if it is contemplated as part of the tradition of any particular temple, prior approval of the local district administration must be sought.

 

The executive officers of all temples, whose income is Rs 25 lakh  should approach the district fire officers and seek their advice on preparing foolproof plans for fire safety in the temples. 

 

Executive officers need to submit a compliance report on the fire safety precautions taken in their respective temples. The government has suggested many  fire safety precautions which include widening of streets around the temple precincts, proper electrification, installation of fire safety devices, having clear entry and exit routes and also emergency fire escape routes, not putting thatched structures on temporary basis during summers.