ibnlive » India

Oct 17, 2011 at 07:24pm IST

Land politics over Formula One in Noida

New Delhi: A fortnight before the country's first F1 race, the farmers who lost their land to the project are up in arms.

They held a Maha Panchayat on Sunday and issued an open letter to CM Mayawati, threatening to disrupt the F1 race if their demands are not met.

A USD 400 million project to build one of the world's most challenging motor sports tracks, India is now on the world racing calendar. But is everyone happy with this dream Budh International Project?

The land was taken for industries but no industry has been made and a lot of people are yet to receive their compensations. Road to girls school has been blocked and now they have to travel 9 km to go to school.

More participation in the land that was theirs not so long ago seems to be the message coming out of this mahapanchayat. As the villagers press for these demands during the protest leading up to the Formula 1 race.

Farmers who have lost land have threatened to stop the Formula One race if their claims are not heeded. The villagers demand compensation at par with that given to farmers in Patwari village. They also demand that industries should be set up on the acquired land jobs in the upcoming projects. Reopening of roads blocked due to construction work is also one of the demand.

Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority officials claim the land was acquired under emergency clause for Special Development Zone and not industries. So promoters Jaypee are obligated to use 35 per cent of the total area for sporting infrastructure. Jaypee group claims villagers would benefit.

Jaypee VP, Copcom, said, "The Budh circuit is build on a land which we have acquired from the villagers and the way we are developing will benefit the villagers as well."

But villagers are not satisfied with this trickle down theory. They want a concrete solution ahead of F1's gala opening.