Uneven compensation for F1 track infuriates Noida residents
Villagers of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh have protested against the uneven compensation paid to them for taking over their lands for Formula One (F1) racing track.
Alleging that the organisers of the event have treated them poorly, the villagers claimed that they were misled into believing that the land was being acquired for industrialisation or public projects that would provide jobs.
"The construction of the F1 track here has not been profitable to us. On the contrary our land has been taken away for very less money. They gave us 800 Rs per square kilometre, which is nothing really and is in fact a loss for us. It will be very difficult to educate our children. Today education is very expensive. In the future, our children will take to the world of crime, as we don't have any land. What other option will they have to earn money?" said Satish Sharma.
Om Prakash, a local from the nearby village of Atta Gujran said the track had severed village links to the main roads, making commuting harder.
Image: McLaren's Jenson Button drives an auto rickshaw at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on Thursday
'This F1 track is of no use to us'
"We are facing problems commuting. The construction of the Formula One track here has been bad for us. Earlier it used to be only 3 kilometres till the village of Dhankaur but now it is almost 15 kilometres, our children cannot go so far to study, especially girls. Fences have been put up and it's become really difficult to commute. So, this F1 track is of no use to us," said Prakash.
Run by Jaypee Sports International, a subsidiary of the Jaypee Group construction and infrastructure giant, the F1 event has come in on schedule with almost none of the cost overruns, corruption and shoddy construction that plagued the government-run Commonwealth Games last year.
Situated in Greater Noida, the Formula One track is connected by a new highway through the Capital's booming outskirts of anonymous office blocks and cement skeletons of soon-to-be-built colleges.
However, fans of motor sport in the country were excited when the Buddh International racing track was officially inaugurated on October 18. It is ready for India's first Grand Prix on October 30.
Image: Preparations continue on the Buddh International circuit track
Photographs: Getty Images