Hyderabad gears up to host India’s first Formula E grand prix
A 2.37km long track around the historic lake is being readied for the race of electric single-seater cars in which 22 drivers from 11 teams from across the world will participate.
The picturesque Necklace Road on the banks of Hussainsagar in the heart of Hyderabad is being spruced up for the first-ever Formula E World Championship race in India, to be held on February 10 and 11.
A 2.37km long track around the historic lake is being readied for the race of electric single-seater cars in which 22 drivers from 11 teams from across the world will participate. The race is being organised by Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), in collaboration with the Telangana government.
As a precursor to the Formula E race, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), in association with the Indian Racing League (IRL), is organising two races as a sort of trial run on the track to test its readiness for the big event to be held in February.
The first such test run on a real-time basis will be held on November 19 and 20 and again on December 10 and 11. “At least 22 electric racing cars will take part in the trial run to ensure that the track is fit for the mega event and all the requirements are met as per the the FIA specifications,” a senior HMDA official privy to the development, said.
He said that the Formula E cars can go to a speed of 300 kmph on street circuits, especially black-topped roads, unlike the Formula I cars, which need to have special tracks.
The authorities are racing against the time to complete the track around the Hussainsagar lake and make all the arrangements, including construction of galleries to enable over 35,000 viewers to watch the event.
“Special safety equipment such as tech pro barriers, debris fences and other related track infrastructure is being built around the tracks to address the stringent safety requirements,” the HMDA official said.
He said the championship will be a testimony to the recognition of Hyderabad as a global city, alongside London, Paris, Monaco and Berlin among others that are also in the race circuit. “The event will also prove that Hyderabad is looking at sustainability and promotion of EV technologies, which are the cornerstone of the Formula E races,” he added.
A week before the mega event in February, the Telangana government has announced hosting of a series of events such as the Hyderabad EV Summit, the Rall-E Hyderabad, and the Hyderabad E-Motor Show as part of Hyderabad e-mobility week from February 6 to 11.
State information technology and industries minister K T Rama Rao said the government will bring global leaders of the electric vehicle manufacturers to Hyderabad to showcase the potential of Telangana for E-vehicles. “There will be panel discussions, keynote speeches and networking sessions attended by prominent stakeholders,” he said.
While the Telangana government has taken up the Formula E grand prix race as a prestigious event, nature lovers of Hyderabad have cried foul over felling of over 200 trees on the banks of the Hussainsagar lake to lay the racing track.
“We are extremely saddened to post this report from NTR Marg near Necklace Road. About 200 much-loved Trees of Gold (Tabebuia aurea) have been removed for Formula E race in February 2023. Palm and other trees have also been translocated to Sanjeevaiah Park. A mere 78 trees of gold have been left standing. This is tragic and ironic in a city that just won a green award,” an activist of Save Banyan Trees of Chevella, a group of environmentalists from Hyderabad, posted on social media.
However, the HMDA official quoted above said no large trees were felled as part of laying the track, but only the ones on the road median and on the footpath were removed. “They have not been felled but were only translocated to a safer place. We are making every effort to see that all the trees survive,” he added.