ALAPPUZHA: A technical glitch held up the final of snakeboat race during Nehru Trophy Boat Race(NTBR) at the Punnamada Lake here on Saturday resulting in a delay of more than an hour. It was after five foul starts the race could finally get under way. Similarly, the races in other categories encountered a lag on account of foul starts. Exasperated with the trouble caused by the electronic starting system, the NTBR organised resorted to a manual start.
By the time the final race got over it was 7 pm. It had grown dark by then,robbing the final of its charm. The starting system had been set up by a private agency at a cost of `15 lakh.Earlier, only the first two heats of the snakeboat race could be conducted properly. From then on, the foul start forced the NTBR authorities to change the order of heats. It also triggered a blamegame with the NTBR officers passing the buck to Irrigation Department. They said the department had been entrusted with the task of setting up the electronic starting system. However, it was not done properly resulting in chaos and confusion.