The Telangana forest department has implemented a ban on joggers and runners at the iconic KBR Park, a destination for all the fitness enthusiasts in Hyderabad. The ban was enforced to avoid inconvenience to senior citizens, said the authorities. The ban came into force on Monday.
The authorities put up a notice against jogging and running in the park, but clarified that such activities were permitted at the walkway outside the national park.
“Senior citizens are being inconvenienced by those who run. They have complained that they fear that someone might hit them accidentally while running. When seeing a runner approach, the senior citizens are panicking and so we have decided to keep running off limits here, until further arrangements are made,” P Venkateswarlu, District Forest Officer, Hyderabad told The New Indian Express.
Reportedly, senior citizens from the KBR Park Walkers’ Association had approached the authorities and given an oral complaint about their fears.
“We have not lodged any complaint officially. However, some senior citizens did. It is an inconvenience to us when people jog in groups leaving no room for the walkers. We have no issues with runners who come individually,” said NJ Reddy, president of the KBR Walkers Club to TNIE.
Officials also claim that the park was never meant to be a venue for jogging or running. “A lot of people have approached us saying that the park, when inaugrated, was only meant for walking. And now that runners and joggers also use the premises, it is creating a problem. So, we have decided to take this step,” an staff in-charge told ToI.
The move by the forest department is likely to affect more than 1,000 joggers and runners, according to the Runners’ club. It has also created a rift between the Walkers’ Association and the Runners’ Club.