Central grant likely for boat race

The Union government is expected to sanction an annual grant of Rs.25 lakh to the Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society. An understanding had been reached on the funding with the Central authority concerned, society sources said.

The State government had given Rs.50 lakh as grant for the conduct of the race this year and it would continue to provide the same amount in future too, they added.

The expenditure for the conduct of the race exceeds Rs.1 crore and the remaining amount was raised through sponsorships and sale of boat race tickets. Nehru Trophy Boat Race has been attracting crowds from far and wide.

Finding adequate funds for the race has been a challenge to the district administration that has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the event.

No free passes

Only a part of the amount could be raised through ticket sales. Online ticket sales through a professional agency were introduced this year in a bid to increase the share of revenue from tickets. Tickets have been bought online by race aficionados in other States.

A number of tourists from abroad too have bought tickets. Distribution of complimentary passes was discontinued this year with the aim of increasing revenue through ticket sales.

The boats taking part in the race are owned by boat clubs in various parts of the district and neighbouring districts. Maintaining them and providing professional training to the oarsmen are challenging tasks for the clubs. It is a prestige issue for almost all of them to be part of the race.

Several clubs have been finding it difficult to raise the money required for the upkeep and training of oarsmen. With many of the clubs centred around Alappuzha town, and each snake boat requiring about a 100 oarsmen, it has not been easy for the boat clubs to pick talented youth from the local populace alone. Some among them have engaged the services of migrant workersfrom States such as Assam and West Bengal.

  • State gives a grant of Rs.50 lakh for boat race

  • Only part of expense raised through ticket sales

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