India’s only F1 track to turn into a quarantine facility

Officials of the Gautam Budh Nagar administration on Sunday decided to use India’s Formula One racing track — the Buddh International Circuit — as a shelter home with quarantine facility for the stranded migrants.

The district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, BN Singh, said the decision was taken in order to create additional facilities to provide healthcare and shelter to people in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway areas. The Buddh circuit forms a part of Jaypee Sports City.

Besides this, the administration has identified at least 20 such buildings that will be turned into shelter homes to house those leaving Delhi-NCR due to panic and walking to their hometowns.

The Uttar Pradesh government wants to put them into such shelters to ensure that infected persons, if any, do not end up reaching their hometowns and spread Covid-19, said officials.

“As of now, we have identified the facility. We will figure out how many persons can be accommodated here on Monday. We are creating these facilities so that stranded migrants in Gautam Budh Nagar can use them till April 14, 2020,” an official of the Gautam Budh Nagar administrations said, on the condition of anonymity.

The Buddh International Circuit is India’s only Formula One track. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority had recently sealed this world-class facility, including the sports city, after the developer failed to clear ₹600-crore financial dues.

“As per provisions under Chapter 12 of the Uttar Pradesh pandemic Covid-19 guidelines, 2020, we have decided to use Jaypee Sports City, along Yamuna Expressway, as shelter home to provide medical, food and residential accommodation to those, who are from Gautam Budh Nagar district or stuck without homes in our district,” said Singh.

He directed Yamuna authority’s officer on special duty, Navneet Goyal, along with other officials, to start operations at this facility so that shelter, medical, food and other services can be started here at once.

Goyal will coordinate with Sudhir Lamba, who takes care of the Sports City, and other officials concerned so that all necessary arrangements can be made at haste, the order stated. “Bed, mattress, toilets and other facilities should be created immediately at Sports City so that those who are stuck in our district can take shelter properly,” the DM said.

Other buildings have also been identified, said officials, for being operated as temporary shelter homes and isolation centres.

Meanwhile, in a bid to provide shelter to those out on the roads amid the lockdown, the Noida district administration has set up makeshift shelter homes at 28 locations across the city.

“A total of 7,000 people can be accommodated in the 28 shelter homes in Gautam Budh Nagar,” said Rakesh Chauhan, district information officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.

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