BH CORRESPONDENT, Greater Noida: Motorsport aficionados in India didn’t expect Buddh International Circuit (BIC) to face a crisis of this magnitude, so much so that it may be hived off to recover outstanding land dues worth over Rs 600cr by Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).
The circuit is owned by Jaypee Group was designed by Hermann Tilke who is also behind iconic tracks such as Yas Marina, Sochi, Marina Bay, Circuit of the Americas and others was officially inaugurated on 18 October 2011.
The venue served as the very first Formula One Indian Grand Prix and trouble began when the Uttar Pradesh government levied an exorbitant tax amount on JPSK (now Jaypee Sports International Limited). The UP government claimed that Formula One cannot be considered as a sport and has to be treated as an entertainment event. Their argument further added that just hosting Formula One in the country ‘will not aid any development in the field of Indian sports’.
Only three seasons of Grand Prix races were held out here and it was suspended in 2014 and subsequently cancelled due to the tax dispute with the Uttar Pradesh government. After F1 removed India from its calendar, Buddh International Circuit was being used to host events, drives, launches of cars /bikes, etc.