Poll panel to decide on fate of F1 eventhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/poll-panel-to-decide-on-fate-of-f1-event/

Poll panel to decide on fate of F1 event

Mumbai’s Formula One fans who are looking forward to David Coulthard zipping across the Bandra Worli Sea Link on Sunday may have to wait a while longer.

Mumbai’s Formula One fans who are looking forward to David Coulthard zipping across the Bandra Worli Sea Link on Sunday may have to wait a while longer. A green signal from the Election Commission has put the event under a cloud of uncertainty,as the event is slated just two days before the Assembly elections.

The event,Red Bull Speed Link ,will bring the world F1 action closest to the city with the Red Bull team’s car revving up to speeds of nearly 320 kmph.

According to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC),the owners of the bridge,the event needs a go-ahead from the Chief Election Officer,Maharashtra,as it is scheduled before the polls — despite having given a no-objection certificate.

“A letter seeking the Election Commission’s permission for the event has been sent,and we’re expecting a reply in a day or two. Without the permission,we cannot allow the event to go ahead,” MSRDC vice-chairman and managing director Satish Gavai told Newsline.

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If the event fails to go ahead as scheduled,the organisers would have to look out for another weekend for the event. It was earlier scheduled to take place last month,but was postponed following the swine flu pandemic.

Meanwhile,event organiser Wizcraft maintains that it has acquired all the necessary permissions from authorities to go ahead with the event as scheduled. “The only issue was if it were a political event,since it was a celebration for the recent opening of the spectacular sea link there are no issues. The event will be held as scheduled,” a spokesperson said.

The 4.7-km sea link,which was thrown open to motorists in July,will be closed for a little over two hours during the event to be held in the morning.

An MSRDC official said the organisers would be paying Rs 20 lakh — toll for the entire day — to the toll operator in advance.

With uncertainty looming large over the event,the MSRDC is hoping for the event to go through as it would put the cable-stayed Sea Link on a global platform.