Rain plays spoilsport for Kerala’s Monsoon tourism

Kerala_boatraceWith unrelenting rains submerging parts of Alappuzha, organisers are fearing poor spectator response to the hugely popular Nehru Boat Race. The event is held every year on the second Saturday of August. Alappuzha has been hit by torrential rains, making life miserable. A good section of the working class is without work.”Many parts of our town are submerged,” said Tomy Pullikattil, one of the organisers of the famed race. He said ticket sales had not picked up like in earlier years. While tickets worth Rs.3.6 million got sold in the last edition, it is feared it will be difficult to touch that figure this time. It was in 1952 when then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala. A pageantry of boats accompanied him from Kottayam to Alappuzha. The race’s origin was an impromptu race conducted in Nehru’s honour. Nehru, thrilled by the performance of the oarsmen, jumped into a snake boat.On returning to Delhi, Nehru donated a silver trophy, a replica of a snake boat on a wooden abacus with an inscription and his signature. This is the trophy the winner in the annual snake boat gets. This year, the race will see 16 snake boats and around 40 small boats participating in various events.
Meanwhile, the Cochin airport here re-opened Tuesday afternoon after remaining closed since Monday morning when water entered the parking bay and other areas following incessant rain, an official said. Cochin International Airport Limited director A.C.K. Nair told IANS that the first flight landed around 3.30 p.m. and the operations have been smooth since then.”There was water logging in the taxi way and parking bay yesterday (Monday) and we had suspended all the landings and take off. The water level has been receding around the airport and we have pumped out the water that entered the airport,” Nair said.This is the first time that water entered the airport since it was opened in 1999. Forty flights had to be cancelled till Tuesday afternoon. Heavy rains are lashing Kerala for the past two days. The worst affected districts include Idukki and Ernakulam.

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