Terror alerts keep joggers out
Hyderabad: Ever since the police has received information about threats from terrorist outfits to airports and other public places in the city, walkers and joggers who made use of the open space afforded by Begumpet airport after flight operations were moved to Shamshabad, have been stopped from entering.
The walkers are stopped by security personnel at the entrance of the approach road to the airport, and notice boards have gone up prohibiting the entry of walkers.
Begumpet cops said they have advised the airport authorities to restrict the entry of walkers and outsiders to the airport at least up to Republic Day, on January 26.
People living in the neighbouring areas like Chikoti Gardens, Brindavan Colony, Motilal Nehrunagar, Prakashnagar and its extension, Patigadda, Viquarnagar, Police Lines, Gun Bazaar, Rasoolpura, Tata Chary Colony, Allauddin Buildings, Begumpet, Brahmanwadi, Mayur Marg, Paigah Colony etc. take a morning or evening walk here.
“We agree that security is of paramount importance. But that doesn’t mean that entry of walkers should be stopped. We don’t even carry any bags with us. They can frisk us. The airport management should reverse its decision and allow the walkers,” said Rajya Lakshmi, who lives in Police Lines.
Pradeep Mukherji, a software professional and a resident of Chikoti Garden Colony, said terrorists usually threaten public places like NTR Garden, Lumbini Park and Secunderabad Railway station that teem with people, “but the managements of these places do not ban the entry of people. The airport management can provide additional security. We do not go near the airport terminal or other buildings. We only use the approach road and the lawns on either side of it to walk and do yoga.”
Businessman A. Dayanand, who has been walking at the airport for five years now, says entry should be allowed for walkers after January 26.
“Once people get used to a place for walking, it becomes a routine for them. If you have to change the venue, the daily fitness regime takes a beating. Also, psychologically we feel stressed,” he claimed.
The police and airport authorities are unmoved by these arguments. City police commissioner Anurag Sharma said the Central Industrial Security Force cover was withdrawn after commercial operations were shifted. “Now, police has to take care of security at Begumpet airport. We have inputs based on which movement of people has been restricted,” he said.
Begumpet airport’s general manager I.N. Murthy said the airport approach road or any other part of the airport property is not for morning walkers, and they are liable to be prosecuted for trespassing.
“Restrictions on entry of people are put in place based on inputs from the police and civil aviation authorities. Walkers have no right to enter the airport property. Begumpet airport is not a dead airport. Training, VIP and VVIP aircraft movement and defence flights movement is active here,” he said.