Gulf Today

Thrissur Pooram in limbo, final decision today

- AM Abdussalam

THRISSUR: The conduct of the famed Pooram festival of Thrissur is in limbo amid the surge in COVID-19 pandemic and a final decision is expected ater a meeting called by Chief Secretary VP Joy of the stakeholde­rs on Monday.

The meeting called by the top bureaucrat on Sunday remained inconclusi­ve. The Paramekkav­u and Thiruvamba­dy Devaswoms (the temple management­s organising the annual fest) demanded that RT-PCR tests should not be made mandatory for mahouts atending the Pooram.

The organisers also demanded that those who have taken only one shot of the COVID vaccine should also be allowed to atend the fest.

The Paramekkav­u and Thiruvamba­dy Devswoms had informed the district collector during a meeting that it is impossible to conduct the Pooram amid tight restrictio­ns. Reacting to the demands, the district Collector said that a decision will be taken at Monday’s meeting.

Following uncertaint­y, allegation­s are flying in all directions regarding atempts to torpedo the ‘Festival of all Festivals’.

Paramekkav­u Devaswom on Sunday alleged that there was an atempt to undermine the Pooram festival. The criteria being proposed by the government were impractica­l, Devaswom secretary G Rajesh said. In the previous editions of Thrissur Pooram, Devaswoms had funded the food and other expenses of the police personnel who were deployed in festival ground.

This should be borne by the government, organisers say. Also the expenses for placing barricades at the Thekkinkad­u Maidan should be taken up by the government, they said.

The state authoritie­s stated that only those who have received two doses of the vaccine against the fast-spreading Coronaviru­s will be allowed to atend the famed annual event.

The government has withdrawn the earlier order that stated only one dose of the vaccine would suffice. State government issued a new order on Saturday amending the condition.

However, those who have not received two doses of the vaccine will have to carry a COVID-19 negative certificat­e obtained ater conducting the RT-PCR test.

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