Vijayawada: The Endowments Department of Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday issued an order banning use of fireworks as part of any temple festival in the state, days after the tragic Kollam temple fire in Kerala claimed 113 lives.
Revenue (Endowments) Principal Secretary J S V Prasad issued an order to this effect and directed executive officers of all temples in the state to take necessary precautionary measures with immediate effect.
Prasad also directed the Endowments Commissioner to take further action in the matter.
Referring to the Kollam temple fire, he said lesson must be learned from this unfortunate incident that turned a temple festival into a "tragedy of grave proportions".
"The government has noted that a competitive fireworks display which flouted rules and regulations has turned the temple festival in Kollam, Kerala, into a tragedy of grave proportions. It is necessary to draw lessons from this unfortunate incident so that such tragedies can be averted," Prasad said in an order.
No fireworks shall henceforth be used as part of any temple festival.
"Even if it is contemplated as per tradition of any particular temple, prior approval of the local District Administration must be taken," he added.
The Executive Officer of the most famous Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has been asked to undertake a thorough review of Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, as well as other shrines under his control and upgrade facilities to prevent fire accidents.
He suggested fire safety measures like widening of Mada streets (surrounding the main temple), proper electrification, installation of fire safety devices, ensuring clear entry and exit routes and also emergency fire escape routes and not raising thatched structures on temporary basis during summer.
Executive officers have also been asked to take steps to see that good quality electrical wiring was done and wires
passed only through conduits.
Adequate circuit-breakers should be installed to avoid short circuits, Prasad added.