ALAPPUZHA: The Punnamada lake is all set to host the most famous water fette, the The Nehru Trophy Boat Race today. 72 boats including 22 snake boats will take part in the competition. Governor Sheela Dixit will be chief guest and the race will begin after the inaugural ceremony at 2.00 pm.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. It was started in 1952 and related to the visit of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He was given a roaring reception by the people of Alleppey, escorted by the huge snake-boats. Excited after travelling in snake-boat, Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race and then onwards the race is known as Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
Besides Snake-boats, many other type of boats like Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam, Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam are participating in the race.
The district police have made high security arrangements for the event this time. CCTV cameras are set up in various parts of the city including Punnamada, District Court bridge, KSRTC bus stand and other parts of the town.Punnamada and other parts of the town are divided into 17 sectors and 2000 police personnel including 21 dySPs, 36 circle inspectors and 350 sub inspectors are deployed for security arrangements. Striking police teams are set up in 8 boats to conduct surveillance in the Punnamada backwaters.
Speed boats and other boats will not be permitted in the race course after 1.30 pm on Saturday, said the DCP.Boats that violate the rules will be confiscated by the police and the permit of the boat and license of the driver will be suspended.
First winner of Nehru Trophy boat race was Nadubhagam Chundan of Nadubhagam Boat Club and last year’s winner was Harippadu Star Boat Club ‘s Sri Ganesh Chundan.