Saturday, Sep 13, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The low water level in the Pampa river curtailed the free movement of the Palliyodams (snakeboats) in the race course had taken away the sheen in this year's Uthrittathi Vallamklai at Aranmula today.
The Palliyoda Seva Sanghom that organises the annual snakeboat regatta had to abandon the boat race after staging a colourful pageantry of snakeboats this afternoon.
The boat race, which should have followed the pageantry, was abandoned due to the drastically depleted water level in the racecourse, in spite of the reported release of water from the Maniyar barrage of the Pampa Irrigation Project on Thursday night to facilitate the smooth conduct of the Vallamkali.
Meanwhile, the usual snakeboat pageantry from the Sathram Kadavu to the Parappuzha Kadavu was replayed from the Parapuzha Kadavu to the Sathram Kadavu later, to "compensate for the race'' in this year's snakeboat regatta, according to the Sanghom.
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, inaugurated the Vallamkali at 2 p.m. and the Cultural Affairs Minister, G. Karthikeyan presided over the function.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Rudy stressed the need to tap the "immense tourism potential" of the
Ramesh Chennithala, MP, released a souvenir brought out by the Sanghom by handing over a copy to Mr. Karthikeyan, on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the Sanghom president, K. Sivadasan Nair, expressed concern over the depletion of water level in the Pampa that affected the Vallamkali, which was being held annually to commemorate the idol installation day at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. He called upon the Union and the State Governments to take urgent measures to conserve the Pampa to check any further degradation of the river.
K.K. Nair, Malethu Saraladevi, K.K. Shaju, all MLAs, the district panchayat president, Mathew Kulathumkal, the District Collector, Rabeendra K. Agarwal, the NSS general secretary, P.K. Narayana Panicker, the SNDP Yogam devaswom secretary, M.B. Sreekumar, the BJP State president, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, the BJP national council member, Padmanabha Acharya, and the former Union Minister, P.J. Kurien, were among those who addressed the meet.
Photo on Page 4.
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