Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2024: Will President Droupadi Murmu be the chief guest?

President Droupadi Murmu (left) is expected to be in Kochi for the centenary celebrations of a college, around the same time. The NTBR will be held on August 10. Photo: PIB/Manorama

Alappuzha: Preparations are in full swing for the 70th annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race to be held at Punnamada Lake on August 10. If everything goes well, President Droupadi Murmu is expected to be the chief guest for this year’s event. “The Chief Minister has called a meeting of the MLAs to discuss the preparations of this year's boat race, scheduled. It is expected that an official request inviting the President to the event will be sent after the meeting,” an official with the NTBR Society said. The President has apparently been invited to attend the centenary celebrations of a reputed college in Kochi, which takes place around the same time. According to the official, if the office of the President accepts the invitation, then it opens the possibility of Draupadi Murmu attending the NTBR as well, as it is unlikely for the President to visit the state to attend one solitary function.

Meanwhile, work towards organising this year’s NTBR is progressing at a fast pace. Quotations for all major works including cleaning and beautification works have been handed over. The construction work on the pandal was inaugurated by District Collector and Chairman of NTBR Society Alex Varghese on Monday. The release of the lucky emblem for this year's event will be carried out by cine actor Kunchacko Boban at Panchayat Hall on Tuesday. Tickets to the event are expected to go on sale from Wednesday. Efforts are being made to ensure a leak-proof pavilion this time. Talks are also on for the construction of a permanent pavilion at the venue.

The Platinum Box, the first of its kind at NTBR where viewers can enjoy the Boat Race in full luxury, is another highlight. Tickets for a family of three will cost Rs 25,000 here. They will be transported to and from the pavilion in special boats. Special food, water and seating arrangements will be earmarked for them. The area will also be under strict police vigilance. While initially, it was expected for 100 tickets to be made available in the Platinum Box, this may go down if the President is arriving for the event, as then only a limited space will be left after meeting security requirements, the official said.

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