The lack of patronage follows Collector A Shanmuga Sundaram stating that verification certificates should be procured from the Vellore North Police Station based on which the ASI (which maintains the Vellore fort) would issue passes for joggers and walkers to use the maidans inside during specified hours in the mornings and evenings.
Though the move irked locals, they were willing to follow it, but they were clearly annoyed when on approaching the police, they were told that they had to apply on line for such certificates.
Srinath a regular walker in his late fifties said, “trust officialdom to think up obstacles for ordinary issues which defeat their very purpose. Though around 50 of us approached the police, we were told to apply online. None applied and hence we now walk around the fort on the fort round road.”
Sathyan, another regular, who used the fort for walking in the pre-pandemic period said, “instead of asking us to get passes it would have been simpler to post two constables in the fort to prevent anything untoward happening.”
M Moorthy another regular fort user said “serious exercise buffs use the ground before 9 am in the morning while dating couples enter the premises only after 10 am. So where was the need for passes?”
Moorthy now parks his two wheeler on crowded Mandi Street and then uses the nearby streets for his morning walk while others prefer to use the fort round road.
No applications so far
Vellore North Police when asked said, “if anybody applies online, the application will be diverted to us based on which we issue passes. However, we have not received any online applications till date.”