KBR Park off limits for runners, joggers to avoid ‘inconvenience’ to senior citizens

The decision was implemented from Monday with a notice put up outside the 400-acre park premises stating that ‘jogging’ and ‘running’ was prohibited.

Published: 09th March 2019 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2019 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

A notice put up at the KBR Park banning jogging and running inside the park. The decision was taken after complaints by some senior citizens that joggers and runners were causing inconvenience to them | Vinay Madapu

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Jogging in the iconic KBR National Park will now be a thing of the past, as the forest department issued a new diktat, banning running and jogging inside the park premises. The reason? It is an ‘inconvenience’ for senior citizens.

The decision was implemented from Monday with a notice put up outside the 400-acre park premises stating that ‘jogging’ and ‘running’ was prohibited. One can, however, continue to jog or run in the walkway built right outside the 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, said.

KBR Park has been a favourite location for morning walkers and joggers due to its pristine location inside the national park. However, the new rule has left many amongst the runner community enraged and baffled.“It is a ridiculous decision, as it makes no sense. I saw the notice but continued running  because the prohibition has no logic,” noted Sagarika Melkote, vice president of Hyderabad Runners.

According to the runners group, the move is set to impact over 1,000 runners. The community is also disappointed with the fact that the forest department which must be concerned about the wildlife inside has previously allowed many provisions that could impact the wildlife. “If it was done for the wildlife I may have still understood. The senior citizens have so many avenues for recreation like Yoga Park, laughing club, open gym, outdoor game zone etc. Then why go after the runners, ‘’  asks Sagarika.

However, the KBR Walker Association clarified that they have officially given no complaint. “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,” noted NJ Reddy, president of KBR Walkers Club.

Meanwhile, environmentalists and runners are also questioning the government as to why there were so few lung spaces in the city. KBR Park at present sees a footfall of 5,000. Meanwhile, the officials are now mulling other options to include the runners. “We had verbally began telling runners that running was banned here, but put up the notice recently. We are not ruling out other option like making a separate track inside or having a separate timing for runners, but now, its banned,” said DFO.



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