Kochi: With the devastating floods hitting the tourism sector for second consecutive year, the department is mulling a permanent change in fixtures of major events being held in August including the Nehru Trophy Boat Race (NTBR) and the Indian Premier League (IPL)-model Champions Boat League (CBL).
"Last year we're forced to postpone the Nehru Trophy Boat race while the inaugural edition of CBL was washed out. This time too, floods have affected the events though we're determined to hold both the races once the situation eases. A serious thought is being given at the government higher level on effecting a change in fixture of the events, involving a substantial investment," said a senior Kerala Tourism official.
Earlier in June, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had said at least Rs 40 crore would be spent for CBL though it expects only Rs 20 crore revenue.
The government was to provide deficit amount as subsidy so as to raise the CBL as a Rs 130 crore sporting-brand in five years.
"This time we're determined to launch the CBL. Since it's a three-month-long fixture, we'll hold remaining part of the IPL model boat race as per pre-planned schedule," the official said.
The CBL was scheduled to be held from August 10 coinciding with the Nehru Trophy Boat Race and concluding with President's Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on November 1. However, efforts of authorities to auction franchisee rights of nine teams on August one failed due to poor response from bidders.
"This is a new product being held on IPL format of cricket. More time needs to be given to franchisees to study the product and be convinced of its scope. The next round of auction will be held after the NBTR so that bidders realise potential of such an event," the official said....