Despite AP government spending huge amounts on the event, organisers charged fees to professional athletes and students.
Vijayawada: A controversy has been triggered after organisers of the Amaravati marathon collected participation fees from professional athletes and students, despite the government spending huge amounts on the event.
The organisers, Disease Eradication through Education and Prevention (DEEP) Trust, also received financial support from private sponsors such as Reliance Jio.
That private sponsorship was supplemented with funds from the government of AP. But the trust still collected fees and that’s believed to have cut down on the number of participants.
The prize money was sponsored by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), which had sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the award. Other arrangements were made by the Vijayawada city police and other government departments.
Organisers collected Rs 1,000 for the half marathon, Rs 750 for 10k Run and Rs 500 per head for the 5k and 3k runs. The money was taken from professional athletes too.
Participating students too had to pay a sum, albeit a concessional amount of Rs 100. More than 6,000 students are believed to have participated in the run, from nearly 130 colleges from the city.
Also, the number of spectators has been more than participants. B.Ramiah, a senior citizen asked why the organisers were allowed to collect the fees. “How can they (organisers) collect participation fees for an event organised by the government,” he asked.
Many citizens say the event would have been more successful if organisers had sacrificed profits. Many students added that the participation fee had been a problem for them.
Dr Murali Nannapaneni said a participation fee was quite common for marathons as the races were an expensive affair. He said the funds were not enough for the whole event. “We got the support of sponsors as well as government but the funds were not sufficient, Dr Murali said.
Over 10K take part in Amaravati marathon
Around 10,000 persons, mainly students and athletes, took part in Amaravati marathon, held by the Andhra Pradesh state government along with DEEP Trust, on Sunday. Nearly 700 runners participated in the 21-km half marathon flagged off by Commissioner of Police Vijayawada Gowtam Sawang and Minister for Water Resources Devineni Uma.
Srinu B., a serviceman and professional athlete from Vizianagaram, won the men’s event by completing in 1.07 hours. Ethiopian student Rahel was the first woman to complete the women’s event in 1.22 hours. B. Lakshman, who completed 10K run in 35.08 minutes, and Vinaya Mulsa, who finished the distance in 45.01 minutes, were awarded the first place in men and women’s category, respectively.
Students of around 130 colleges made their presence felt with cheers and claps motivating athletes throughout the race. Students of Danekula Engineering College won the rolling trophy for active participation with around 650 entries.
Film actress Manchu Lakshmi, AP DGP Sambasiva Rao and others participated in the presentation ceremony.
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