ALAPPUZHA: The incessant rain and flood has put a damper on Alappuzha boat race. Most of the areas in Kuttanad are under flood water. The flow tourists also has decreased due to heavy rain and flood.
Gopinath, a house boat operator at Punnamada, said that the flow of tourist is very low due to flood. Most of the house boats are lying idle in the mooring jetty in and around Punnamada. In previous years, tourists, both international and domestic, had flocked to Alappuzha in August. However, this year rain and flood have played spoilsport, he added.
As the traffic on most of the interior roads and Alappuzha-Changanassery road has got disrupted due to flood, boat race enthusiasts won’t be able to reach Alappuzha, Gopinath said.The snake boats participating in the Nehru Trophy Boat Race took out trial runs in Punnamada lake and other waterbodies at Kuttanad on Thursday morning.
Around 72 boats including 22 snake boats are expected to take part in the race on Saturday.
Governor Sheila Dikshit will inaugurate a meeting in connection with the boat race at Punnamada Backwaters at 2 pm. State Ministers, local MPs and MLAs will also be present on the occasion. The race will be flagged off at 3.15 pm and the prize distribution for the winners will be conducted at 5.30 pm.Tight security arrangements have been made for the boat race.
As many as 2,000 policemen including 19 DySP’s, 33 circle inspectors and 335 sub- inspectors will be deployed in and around the venue of the event. Medical teams and quick response team of the police too will be stationed at the venue to handle any emergency situation. Seating arrangements have been made for as many as 17,000 people.