ALAPPUZHA: Jawahar Thayankari rowed by Vembanad Boat Club, Kumarakom, lifted the Nehru Trophy at the finals of the boat race at the Punnamada lake witnessed by a galaxy of dignitaries and thousands of tourists and other spectators on Saturday.
Mahadevikad Kattil Thekkethu of Karthikapally, Mahadevikad Boat Club, came second. Jawahar Thayankari, which finished in 4.36 minutes, registered its fourth victory. Sree Ganesan of Town Boat Club, Alappuzha, came third and St Pious X of Mankombu Pious X Boat Club was fourth.
Vembanad Boat club captain Jameskutty Jacob, who received the trophy, said they had a one-month hard training that helped them win the trophy.
In Veppu ‘B’ grade finals. Abraham Munnu Thaikal of the St John’s Boat Club, Mankombu, finished first and Chiramel Thottukadavan of Ponga Sree Bhadhra boat club second. Munnuthaikkal of Kuttanad Boat Club, Mampuzhakari, won first in Iruttukuthy ‘A’ category.
Thuruthithara of Bharath Math Kaikavedhi, Mankombu finished second. Earlier, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who inaugurated the event said that the centre was interested in constructing a new national highway from Alappuzha to Kodaikanal.
“If the Kerala government can acquire enough land, I would be happy to implement the project,” he said.
The centre also planned to set up waterways, he said. The Inland Water Ways Department had developed five waterways in the country and the Kodungallur- Kottappuram waterway was almost complete.
Chief guest Le Yucheng, Chinese Ambassador to India, said that Kerala had a lot of tourism potential and China was willing to cooperate in this respect.
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anoop Jacob presided. K.C. Venugopal MP, Kodikunnil Suresh MP, MLAs Thomas Issac, A.M. Aarif, C.K. Sadasivan and Thomas Chandy and chief secretary Jiji Thomson were also present.