Amid confusion and traffic jam, commuters enter the race track near the Indira Gandhi statue on Friday. (Deepak Deshpande/DC)
Hyderabad: On the eve of Formula E race here on Sunday, utter confusion and chaos reigned at the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship venue with scores of members of racing teams, volunteers and housekeeping personnel not knowing where they could pick up their passes.
"We have been waiting in the queue for more than two hours. We don't know if our passes will be issued here or not, and we’re unable to communicate with officials because they don't understand our language," said one of the housekeeping staff members.
On the other side, commuters using the roadways near the venue encountered difficulties because of the frequent traffic jams at intersections and byways around the track. Much to the embarrassment of the police and organisers, regular traffic entered the race track near the Indira Gandhi statue, forcing a delay in the practice runs scheduled for the evening.
Police were woefully ill-informed since the organisers did not adequately brief them. Any queries from members of the public were met with the standard reply, "No idea, sir".
Every individual attempting to obtain information about entry points, passes, schedules, among other things encountered the same problem that an average citizen would encounter at a bank or a government office: conveniently being sent from one counter to another.
Race car drivers voiced displeasure over the lack of adequate amenities. In a press briefing, some of the drivers complained about toilets not being easily available and the bad condition of those that were. The dust coming from the new Secretariat building's construction site, which is near to the racetrack at NTR Marg, was another issue raised by the drivers.
Huge international sporting events are usually accompanied with brouhaha, especially when they are held for the first time. But after the experience of hosting two similar events — the Indian Racing League prior to the E-Prix, the city is expected to pull off the Formula-E well. However, following a dismal pre-race day it remains to be seen if the event will be managed well.