‘It affects the smooth movement of the snakeboat regetta’
The Palliyoda Seva Sanghom (PSS) has called upon the government to take immediate steps to remove the mudbanks formed on the riverbed of the Pampa, as they hinder the smooth movement of the snakeboats during the annual regatta at Aranmula during the Onam festival.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Ratheesh R. Mohan, secretary of the PSS that organises the snakeboat regatta, said that the mudbank removal should be carried out before the onset of monsoon.
Mr. Ratheesh said the Water Resources Department usually removed the mudbanks from the race course when the river was full to its brim, leaving many affected parts untouched.
He said the Aranmula MLA, K. Sivadasan Nair, and PSS leaders had taken up the matter with the Water Resources Minister, P. J. Joseph, a few months ago, and he had directed the Water Resources Department officials to remove the mudbanks during summer itself.
But the authorities concerned had not made any arrangements for carrying out the work, the PSS secretary alleged.
This year’s snakeboat regatta would be held in September when the water level in River Pampa was usually low, posing much problems for the smooth conduct of the regatta, he said.
Mr. Ratheesh said the famous Vallasadya offering at the Sree Parthasarathy Tempe would begin on July 31 and in the present condition, the oarsmen would find it difficult to take their snakeboat even 50 metres close to the temple ghats.
There were instances of snakeboats hitting these mud banks and capsizing in midstream during the previous festival season.
The PSS president, K.V. Sambadevan, said the sanghom would launch a strong agitation, if the authorities failed to remove the mudbanks before the onset of monsoon.