Mumbai: Runners and joggers staged a protest outside the Worli police station on Monday after a jogger was killed by a speeding car when she was on her morning run near Worli Dairy on March 19.
The demonstrators were from the Shivaji Park runners group of which the deceased was a member.
The deceased Rajalakshmi Ramakrishnan, CEO of Altruist Technologies, died on the spot after a speeding car ran over her near Worli Dairy while she was out for her morning run. She was hit by a car running on 120km/hour speed and was flung almost 20 feet away, resulting in her death on the spot.
Many from the running community were upset as the news of Rajalakshmi's demise spread. The community opined that the incident harks back focus of authorities and public to safety of runners.
Marathoner says cyclical rounds around parks not beneficial for long-distance runners
Speaking to Midday, a marathoner Kranti Salvi said that Rajalakshmi had been preparing to run London Marathon which is scheduled to be held on April 23.
Salvi further added that one has to run on roads when covering long distances and that running cyclical path in parks is not an option for many. She also highlighted that parks are closed for upgradation, roads taken over for infrastructure projects and footpaths are either encroached or unusable. She questioned where must runners go in such cases while recalling a similar incident she saw happen on Marine Drive.
Ultramarathoner, running coach says fear for his students has heightened
Samson Sequiera, an ultramarathoner and a running coach, told Hindustan Times that his concern for the 10 to 15 students he trains has heightened after Rajalakshmi's accident.
Sequiera said that long-distance running requires one to have engagement with their surroundings and public infrastructure like roads, footpaths, traffic and traffic signals.
He further said that the 'never-ending construction work' in Bandra, BKC, Worli, Marine Drive and along the Coastal Road, the healthy, fun activity for citizens has been devoid of joy.
He also noted that paver blocks break easily and create uneven surfaces which is dangerous for runners and now they are forced on tarmac which puts the runners in harm's way.
A runner says city needs demarcated zones for pedestrians
Founder of YouTooCanRun, P Venkatraman, said that the city needs demarcated zones, markers to differentiate between pedestrians and vehicles. He told the Midday that the pedestrians have very little rights and runners even less.
Chembur runner says primary reason for such incidents is lack of civic sense among drivers, riders
Meanwhile, another runner from Chembur, Prakash Agarwal told the Times of India that he has observed a lack of civic sense among the drivers or riders and the primary reason behind runners and cyclists' scary experiences.
Agarwal added that the city is already congested and demand for separate roads for runners is moot and not feasible. He said that runners have no option but to hit the main roads or the national highways to complete a long run.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)