42 snake-boats to take part in the annual regatta
PATHANAMTHITTA: The Palliyoda Seva Sanghom (PSS) and various government departments have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the annual Uthrittathi snake-boat regatta (Vallamkali) to be held at the Pampa in Aranmula on Sunday afternoon.
Work on the main pavilion that houses the stage at the PWD Sathram premises has already been completed.
Superintendent of Police K.K. Chellapan said as many as 400 police personnel would be deployed at Aranmula, besides eight Deputy Superintendents of Police, 12 circle inspectors, 40 sub-inspectors, and 75 woman police constables, on Sunday. He said cops in mufti would also be deployed on either banks of the river along the race course.
PSS president K.V. Sambadevan said the organisers had also made arrangements to serve meals to all devotees coming to the Sree Parthasarathy Temple on Sunday.
The snake-boat regatta on the Uthrittathi day in the Malayalam month of Chingom is to commemorate the idol installation ceremony at the Sree Parthasarathy temple centuries ago.
Mr. Sambadevan said as many as 42 snake-boats would take part in the pageantry as well as the race on Sunday.
The race will be held in A and B categories and the winners in both will be presented with the Mannam Trophy.
Central Travancore Development Council chairman P.S. Nair will present a cash prize worth Rs.25,001 each to the winners in the both A and B batches, the PSS president said.
Mr. Sambadevan said 19 motorboats, including three speed boats, would be deployed in the Pampa on Sunday.
Selja to inaugurate
Kumari Selja, Union Minister for Tourism, will inaugurate the annual event at a ceremonial function to be held at 1.30 p.m. Swami Amruthaswaroopananda, vice-president of the Mata Amrithanadamayi Madhom, will light the ceremonial lamp on the occasion.
Minister for Home and Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will preside over the inaugural function. The snake-boat pageantry will begin at 1.30 p.m. and Water Resources Minister N.K.Premachandran will inaugurate the boat race. Minister for Youth Welfare M. Vijayakumar will release a souvenir brought out by the PSS on Aranmula and Devaswom Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran will release a brochure on the occasion.
Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, and P. Parameswaran, Bharatiya Vichara Kendram director, will deliver benedictory speeches and P.K. Narayana Panicker, Nair Service Society general secretary, will deliver the keynote address.
P.J. Kurien, Rajya Sabha member; Kodikunnil Suresh and Anto Antony, MPs; K. Sivadasan Nair, K.C. Rajagopalan, Raju Abraham, P.C. Vishnunath, M. Murali and Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLAs; A. Santhakumari, district panchayat president; and Thushar Vellappally, SNDP Yogam Devaswom secretary; will also address the inaugural meet.