'Karichal Chundan' lifts Nehru Trophy for 13th time

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Alappuzha, Aug 9 (UNI) With thousands of cheering spectators, including foreigners, lining the banks, the 'Karichal Chundan' lifted the Nehru Trophy for the 13th time at the Punnamada backwaters here today.

The boat was sponsored by Jesus Boat Club, Kollam, and captained by Jiji Jacob. The supremacy of 'Karichal' in the finals of the 56th Nehru Trophy boat race was unambiguous, as it had a clean edge over runner-up 'Chruthana' from the beginning.

Earlier, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde inaugurated the championship, which was held amidst unprecedented security measures, in view of the recent serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the State Government had decided to continue the Rs 25,000 annual grant for maintenance of 'chundans' (dragon boats), for this year also.

State Co-operative Minister G Sudhakaran, PWD Minister Mons Joseph and several MPs, MLAs and other VIPs, were present on the occasion, which was a high point in the state's tourism calendar.

In other races, in the Veppu Grade A, Ambalakkadavan won, while in the Iruttukuthi A grade, Mammoodan clinched the title. In Iruttukuthy B Grade, Hanuman was the winner.

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