Run for Unity will be a run in spirit only. For, the number of participants is likely to cross one lakh, making it difficult to even find proper walking space along a three-kilometre stretch.
Since the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) does not have a mechanism to check the physical presence of runners, website registration could be considered as participation.
An official said that just the name and mobile number are needed for registration. So, chances of a person enrolling on behalf of others are pretty high. “Therefore, the registration figure might be considerably higher than the actual participation,” he indicated.
The civic body had originally identified a four-kilometre stretch for the run. The AMC, however, curtailed it to just 2.8 kilometre on instructions from the government.
“We aim to get around one lakh participants. However, it will be difficult for them to run such a short stretch. So, ultimately, it will turn out to be a morning walk,” said a senior AMC official.
The run will commence from Vallabh Sadan on the Sabarmati riverfront and after crossing Ashram Road and a new garden at Usmanpura, the participants will return to the starting point.
Besides the civic administration, the BJP is running a parallel mechanism to make the show a grand success. “Corporators and ward presidents of BJP have been asked to get at least 1,000 participants from their ward,” said a party source.
Even mayor Meenaxi Patel was overheard pressuring the dean of an AMC-run medical college to increase the number of participants. “I don’t want any of the girls to fall ill till December 15.
Everyone must be at the event,” she said.
A BJP corporator said they would have to make arrangements for snacks and offer other incentives to bring them to the venue. “It is very difficult to gather people on a Sunday morning in winter,” he said.