With only 10 days left,the route for the ninth Mumbai Marathon will mostly stay the same as the traffic police have still not decided to change it. The organisers,Procam International,have proposed the same route this year too,but are awaiting the polices final nod for the January 15 event.
In order to minimise inconvenience to the commuters,the traffic police had suggested an alternative route last year starting from Regal Cinema in Colaba to PDemello Road to Five Gardens in Dadar via Wadala. The original route is from CST to Bandra via the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Last year,the organisers had secured the no-objection certificate from the Home Department,but signed an undertaking that next year they would have to accept a change in route as suggested by the traffic police.
The traffic police had argued that the marathon is a commercial venture and suggested the alternative route as the existing one blocks the main arterial roads for over six hours. Replying to their suggestion,the organisers wrote to them that the proposed route will showcase the weaker part of the city to which the police replied that their priority is minimum inconvenience to the commuters.
Based on a 2010 petition filed by RTI activist Alka Shah,the High Court passed an order directing the traffic police to see to it that commuters are not troubled during the marathon and non-compliance would be considered contempt to court.
However,this year too,the organisers proposed the same route. Procam International said they have sent the proposal to the police headquarters and are awaiting the final permission.
We are still contemplating the proposal for the final nod. A decision will be taken in a day or two, said Vibek Phansalkar,Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).