- Kerala's annual chariot festival will be a green affair this year
- Non-recyclable plastic including glass, plates, carry bags to be avoided
- Feast to be served on plantain leaf or eco-friendly plates
Thiruvananthapuram: With heritage village Kalpathy in Palakkad district of Kerala gearing up for yet another annual chariot festival, authorities are busy making arrangements to make the centuries-old fest a “green” affair this year. The district administration has drawn up elaborate plans to keep all kinds of non-recycled plastic articles at bay in the hamlet during the three-day festival, which attracts thousands of people including tourists from and outside the state every year. The ‘rathotsavam’ festival falls on November 14,15 and 16 this year.
Located on the banks of the river Nila (also known as Kalpathy river), Kalpathy is an early settlement of Tamil Brahmin community in the southern state. Palakkad Municipal chairperson Prameela Sasidharan said instructions have been given to merchants and wayside vendors on the implementation of green protocol and the cooperation of locals would also be sought in this regard.
The municipality has decided to avoid any kind of articles made of non-recycled plastic including glass, plates, carry bags and festoons during the festival days, she told PTI.
Sadya (feast) will be served on either plantain leaf or eco-friendly plates made of palm leaf, the Chairperson said.
To reduce the use of packaged bottled water, the district administration would set up water kiosks in select locations at the hamlet. Glasses, made of recycled plastic, would be used to distribute drinking water, she said.
Regulating packaged drinking water bottles is the most difficult thing as people will come even from outside.. But, shopkeepers have assured maximum cooperation in this regard.. We are also planning to launch an intensive awareness campaign through media, Ms. Prameela said.
Detailing the other arrangements of the annual fest, the Chairperson said a massive cleaning drive would be launched in the area soon. Adequate streets lights would be installed on the village streets and roads, through which the temple chariots move, would be repaired and retarred. The bathing ghats of Kalpathy river would be renovated and mobile toilets would be placed, Ms. Prameela added.
The rolling of heavily decorated majestic temple chariots through the village streets of Kalpathy is the major attraction of the car festival, known as ‘rathotsavam’ in local parlance.
Sree Viswanathaswamy temple is the main centre of the festival while the three satellite temples in the village of new Kalpathy, old Kalpathy and Chathapuram also take part in it.