Disgruntled farmers have stepped up their opposition to the construction of the Buddh International Circuit that is due to host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in two-and-a-half months' time – by vowing to 'launch an agitation' and 'dismantle the racing track with force if necessary' if their demands are not met.
The Greater Noida venue has been hit by a variety of delays since work got underway last year, but organisers are determined that there will be no repeat of the farce that surrounded the first-ever Korean Grand Prix – where the circuit was still being completed even as F1 teams prepared to take to the track – or the shambolic build-up to last year's Commonwealth Games in India.
The key issue is the fact that farmers who have been forced to give up land bordering the Yamuna Expressway in the surrounding area have launched a protest bidding for more compensation, but the Jaypee Group in control of the project insists that all such agreements were signed prior to the beginning of construction at mutually agreed rates.
However, an eight-hour meeting of more than 300 farmers on Wednesday – held at Kanarsi village, under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and about five kilometres from the track site – resulted in a letter being drafted to the Yamuna Expressway Authority demanding greater financial compensation, more educational institutions and more industry in the area to generate employment.
Vowing to 'dismantle the racing track with force if necessary', the farmers stressed that 'if our demands are taken casually, we will be forced to launch an agitation', according to DNA
. They explained that they are upset at 'the district's land being given to the builders' and instead suggested that it 'should be allotted for industrial purposes so that our children may have employment in the future'.