Alappuzha: The Nehru Trophy boat race is back! Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the 68th edition of the Nehru Trophy boat race at Punnamada Lake in the Alappuzha district on Sunday, September 4. Twenty snake boats will compete for the coveted trophy and the heats will start at 11 am.
There would be competitions in nine categories for which 79 boats, including 22 snake boats (chundan vallams), had registered. However, two snake boats later withdrew from the contest, bringing down the number of competitors to 20.
In between the heats, the Chief Minister will conduct the formal inauguration of the water festival at 2.30 pm. Ministers K N Balagopal, K Rajan, P Prasad, P A Muhammad Rias and Roshy Augustine will be present at the ceremony. After the inaugural function, the competitions will resume by 3 pm and the final race is scheduled at 5 pm.
The heat rounds will be conducted with four teams each and the top four teams recording the fastest timings will compete in the finals.
The Nehru Trophy is presented to the snake boat that wins the final race.
Tickets for the race are available online as well as offline. While the online sales are conducted through the South Indian Bank website, Ticketgenie and Paytm Insider, offline tickets are sold from various government offices. The ticket rate ranges from Rs 100 to 3,000.
Traffic regulations in Alappuzha today
The authorities have imposed traffic regulations in Alappuzha town on Sunday in view of the Nehru Trophy boat race.
Parking will not be allowed on the roadside from the northern side of General Hospital Junction to Kaichoondi Junction and Kommady Junction.
Moreover, all traffic has been banned from 7 am to 7 pm along the roads from District Court North Junction eastwards to Thathampally Kayal Kurissady Junction.
Similarly, no vehicles, except KSRTC buses, will be allowed from YMCA South Junction towards east till the Fire and Rescue Services station.
Authorities have also announced the places where vehicles carrying spectators could be parked.
People arriving from Thanneermukkom side should park vehicles on SDV School ground.
Those travelling from Ernakulam side have to take the Kommady-Savakottapalam North Junction route and reach the SDV School ground for parking.
At the same time, spectators from Kaithavana direction have to park vehicles at Carmel, St Antony’s School ground.
KSRTC special services
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will be conducting services from various districts in Kerala to Punnamada as part of its budget tour programme for the Nehru Trophy. Chartered buses would be arranged for the purpose and entry is for ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ category tickets priced at Rs 500 and 1,000 respectively.
Spectators arriving directly in Alappuzha from other districts can also buy tickets from the special counter at KSRTC’s Alappuzha depot. Tickets will also be issued when details such as name, category of pass and number of tickets required are sent by WhatsApp to 98464 75874 along with transferring the money online.