Kumarakom: Boat clubs of Kumarakom will vie for honours at Thazhathangadi today. Each club is fired up to breast the finishing tape when the fifth edition of the Champions Boat League (CBL) gets underway in Kottayam district. In their attempt to win the CBL race, the boat clubs have arrayed the rovers who took part in the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. Snake boats named Champakulam Chundan of the Kumarakom Town Boat Club, Niranom Chundan of the NCDC, Ayaparambu Pandy of Vembanad Boat Club, and Payippad Chundan of the Kumarakom Boat Club are taking part in the race.
Although the Champakulam Chundan secured second place in the Nehru Trophy race, it has not been able to reach the finals of the CBL till now. Niranom Chundan won in the heats at the Nehru Trophy race but could not enter the finals when the timings were taken into account. The other two boat clubs put up a sterling performance.
Last year, the winner in the Thazhathangadi race was the Mahadevikad Kattil Thekkethu Chundan roved by the Pallathuruthy Boat Club. This year, by deploying the Veeyapuram Chundan, the boat club won the Nehru Trophy and the Champions Boat League conducted at another venue. Although the Pallathuruthy Chundan had to share the honours with Nadubhagam Chundan of the Kainakary UBC in the Piravom race, it is determined to bag the crown at Thazhathangadi by pipping its rival. The Mahadevikad Kattil Thekkethu Chundan of the Police Boat Club began practice races at Thazhathangadi on Friday evening. The Payippad snake boats have also reached the track early.
V.N. Vasavan, Minister for Cooperation, will inaugurate the Champions Boat League race at 2 pm on Saturday. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, MLA, will preside over the event. Thomas Chazhikan, MP, will release the souvenir by presenting the first copy to Chandy Ooommen, MLA. District Panchayat President K.V. Bindu will administer the “Garbage-free New Kerala” pledge. District Collector V. Vigneshwari will hoist the flag and the Municipal Chairperson Bincy Sebastian will flag off the Jala Gosha Yatra (parade on the water).
While the District Police Chief K. Karthik will present the prizes at 5 p.m., the Thiruvarppu grama panchayat president Ajayan K. Menon will flag off the swimming demonstration. There are nine boats competing in the Thazhathangadi race. There will also be a race for 19 smaller boats registered with the Kottayam West Club.
Traffic curbs in Kottayam town today
The police have said that traffic restrictions will be imposed in Kottayam town from 1 p.m. today in view of the Thazhathangadi Boat Race.
Heavy vehicles bound for the Kumarakom side from Kottayam town should reach Baker Junction and proceed through Chalakunnu, Aruthootti, Kurisupally Junction, Thiruvathukkal, and Illikkal.
- Heavy vehicles coming into the town from the Kumarakom side must take the Illikkal, Thiruvathukkal, Thekkum Gopuram, Boat Jetty, Palampadom, Pulimoodu Junction, andThirunakkara Gandhi Square.
- Vehicles intending to go to the Changanassery side from Kumarakom must reach Thiruvathukkal from Illikkal Junction and proceed via Pathinarilchira and Cement Junction.
- Vehicles going from Changanassery to the Kumarakom side must reach Cement Junction and proceed along Panthinarilchira, Thiruvathukkal, and Illikkal Junction.
- Vehicles coming down from the Kummanam bridge from Kummanam and Kallumada sides must proceed on to Kottayam.