The Telangana forest department imposed a ban on joggers and runners at the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) Park, a place flocked by fitness enthusiasts in Hyderabad.
The ban was enforced on to avoid inconvenience to senior citizens authorities said.
The authorities had put up a notice against jogging and running in the park. However, it 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.
Senior citizens from the KBR Park Walkers’ Association had approached the authorities and given an oral complaint about their fears.
President of the KBR Walkers Club NJ Reddy said that the association has no problems with individual runners but with those who jog in groups.
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 inaugurated, 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,” a 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 of Hyderabad.