With no site in sight,F1 track runs into take-off trouble

The ambitious plan to build a Formula 1 racing track in Mumbai is facing trouble taking off,as the development agency implementing it has been unable to find suitable land for the project.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: June 21, 2012 12:14:06 am

The ambitious plan to build a Formula 1 racing track in Mumbai is facing trouble taking off,as the development agency implementing it has been unable to find suitable land for the project.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is now looking at Adai village in Panvel taluka as a possible location for the F1 track,which would be the second in the country after the Buddh Circuit in Greater Noida. The agency has a land parcel of about 100 acres in Adai and will need to acquire the adjoining private land. It needs at least 400 acres to build the track and 600 acres if the track has commercial establishments around it to make it self-sustainable.

“The most important issue in this project is land. We are looking at a partner who can come up with a big land parcel,” said a senior MSRDC official.

The project consultants,Capita Symmonds and Populous,recently submitted a detailed project report in which Adai was recommended as the most feasible location out of the 12 they had studied. “The MSRDC board approved the suggested location a couple of months ago considering that the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport is going to be situated nearby,” an MSRDC engineer said.

“However,acquiring land in the area is turning out to be a little tricky. The demand for land in that area is huge considering the upcoming airport. We are likely to face a lot of opposition in the land acquisition process,” he added.

The other options that the MSRDC was earlier considering included land on the Malad-Marve stretch owned by the revenue department,a plot near Kalyan and land along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway,near Pune.

Last year,the MSRDC decided to widen its search for land by inviting proposals from private companies who had land parcels of about 400 to 500 acres in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region or were willing to acquire it for the F1 track.

“We received several proposals but none of the companies had that much land in one place. The companies had smaller land parcels. Nothing came out of it,” the MSRDC official said.

The MSRDC is looking to execute the project on a build-operate-transfer basis and the project cost has been pegged between Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 crore. However,the agency is yet to decide the implementation schedule.

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