The 60the edition of the popular Nehru Trophy Boat Race will be held for three days from this year.
The first day will be for knockout heats for the small boats, boats rowed by women and an exhibition race by snake boats. There will be canoeing, kayaking and speedboat races on the second day. These races will be included in the race for the first time this year. The third day will witness the knockout heats of the snake boats and their final and the contests of those boats which qualified to the final from the first day's contest.
A decision to this effect was taken at an executive committee meeting of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race (NTBR) Society here on Sunday after an eight-member sub committee submitted a report on changes to be effected on the Race to the Society and to the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy. The spectators can watch the first two days of races free of cost, according to the decision of the meeting. The race is held on the second Saturday of August every year.
The report of the sub committee was to conduct the famous boat race in two days, with the first day marked for knockout heats of all boats including snake boats. Since there was opinion that the conducting of heats of all types of boats on one day will burden the boat clubs and exhaust the rowers, it was decided to conduct the heats and final of the snake boats on the third day.
A four member committee was also constituted to decide on the seven-day long celebrations in connection with the Race. Programmes will be organised in Haripad, Chengannur, Kuttanad, Cherthala and Kumarakom for publicity of the race. The meeting also decided to make uniforms compulsory for the rowers and to disqualify those teams which do not stick to this rule.
The meeting also decided to conduct an audit of last year's boat race in 15 days and to elect a new committee after conducting the audit. Union Minister of State for Power, K. C. Venugopal told the meeting that Rs 50 crore has been sanctioned for mega tourism projects by the Centre. The committee also decided to raise the loan of small boats from Rs. two lakh to Rs. 3 lakh. MLAs, T.M.Thomas Isaac and C.K.Sadasivan, district collector, Sourabh Jain and others attending the meeting.