Onam: Pulikali troupes to get more money this season

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Thrissur: In view of the escalating financial burden associated with the Pulikali festival, the Thrissur Corporation has decided to raise its grant for the troupes participating in the annual event from Rs 50,000 to Rs 65,000.
According to Mayor I.P. Paul, an advance amount of Rs 40,000 would be given to each of the participating teams on September 12.
“The corporation will also give a cash award of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 to the top three teams. Besides, the top three tableaus selected by the judging committee will also be given a prize money of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 for the first, second and third positions, respectively’’, he said.
Further, the civic body will be approaching the tourism minister with a request to provide one lakh rupees to each participating team as part of the tourism department’s annual assistance to the festival.
This year, spotlights will be installed at the major streets including Naduvilal, Naikanal, Paramekkavu, Thekke Gopura Nada, and Kuruppam Road junction to provide a glittering backdrop to the ‘wild belly’ tiger dance. The roads to be used for the event will be renovated before Onam.
Truckload of flowers to deck up Onam
Nadeesh kareemadathil | DC
Thrissur: Buying flowers could prove hard on pockets this festive season with prices of almost all flowers in the wholesale flower market shooting up sharply due to shortage of production in Tamil Nadu where the flowering belt has been hit by heavy rain. Flower venders warn that prices are bound to rise as 80 per cent of the flowers are brought to Karnataka from the neighbouring states.

“The scanty production and burgeoning demand has pushed flower prices beyond the reach of the common man. On Saturday, the price of jasmine was oscillating between Rs 700 and Rs 800 a kg, up from Rs 200 a year ago.
While the price of lillippoov has almost doubled to Rs 900 a kg,  arali and marigold have become costlier by about 30 per cent. Other flowers cost between Rs 60 and Rs 200 a kg in the retail market.
An Onam kit with a combination of flowers costs between Rs 50 and Rs 75, up by about 35 per cent from the previous year,” said P.S. Mohanan, manager of RMR Flowers in Thrissur.
One of the biggest markets in the central Kerala, Thrissur receives several tonnes of flowers from Coimbatore, Madurai, Thanjavur, Cuddalore, Tiruvarur, and other districts in Tamil Nadu and Gundelpettu in Karnataka every day.
Another twist to  elephant deportation saga
Hiran Unnikrishnan | DC
Thrissur: There seems to be no end in sight to the saga of ‘deportation' for this hapless wild elephant in Siruvani.
In the wake of growing protests from people living on the fringes of the Palakkad forest, the forest department has decided to shift the animal to the elephant rehabilitation centre at Konni, Pathanamthitta.
The tusk-less male elephant, which suffers from a malignant abdominal tumour, was earlier shifted to Siruvani on May 24 from Sulthan Batheri, its original habitat.
According to officials, the department has approached the Tamil Nadu Forest department for getting a couple of 'kumki' elephants to execute the shifting process, which will take place within a week.
“The animal has been loitering in a very bad condition on the forest’s fringes ever since it was brought here and the new location would be an ideal place for the animal to get better treatment,” said T.C. Thyagaraj, Divisional Forest Officer, Mannarkad. With puss oozing out of its abdomen, the animal is in no mood to relent and the veterinarians deputed by the department have been unable to approach it so far, he added.
The elephant, aged about 27 years, which reportedly trampled a tribal to death recently, had been raiding crops and spreading panic in the villages of Wayanadu for the last couple of years and was shifted to Siruvani on the pretext of being provided better treatment.
The actual plan was to shift the animal to the Parambikulam reserves but the Tamilnadu Wildlife Department had refused to co-operate, citing its dangerous antecedents. It was released in Siruvani after being connected with a radio collar to help the officials track its movement.

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