Snake boats Mallappuzhasseri, Kottathoor lift 'Mannam' trophy

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Pathanamthitta, Sept 16 (UNI) Snake boats Mallappuzhasseri and Kottathoor lifted the Mannam Trophy in 'A' and 'B' group respectively in the finale of the 'Uthruttathy Snake Boat Race' held on the river Pampa at Aranmula today.

Keezhvanmazhi and Nedumprayar won the second and third place in the 'A' group while Kadapra finished second in the 'B' group.

Inaugurating the festival, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Dr M S Gill said the Centre would implement a rural sports development project with an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.

Assuring that the Kerala would benefit from the project, he said he would exert pressure on the Prime Minister and Union Minister for Tourism to implement a Rs 20 crore 'Rubber Dam' project in Pampa at Aranmula.

Mr Gill said the snake boat festival was unparalelled in its visual beauty and traditional aesthetis.

Presiding over the inaugural function, Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs M Viajayakumar proclaimed conferrring state status to ''Aranmula Uthruttathy Vallamkali''.

He also announced the inclusion of endogenous tourism at Aranmula, implemented by the Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the world tourism map.

Sports Minister's Trophy would be introduced from the next year onwards, he said.

Prior to the race, a pageantry of 41 participating snake boats was held.

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