Mumbai residents reject Hamilton show

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IOL mot sep12 hamilton Getty Images The residents of Mumbai will not be seeing or hearing this any time soon.

A noisy display of speed and burning rubber by Formula One star Lewis Hamilton due to take place along Mumbai's iconic Marine Drive has been shifted after complaints from residents in the upmarket area.

The British driver, currently second in the F1 championship, was to roar down the street along the Mumbai coast on Sunday evening at a sponsorship event ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix later this month.

But local residents, who include some of the city's multi-millionaires, have forced the action to be moved to the Bandra Kurla Complex in the northern suburbs of the city.

The Marine Drive Council, an umbrella group of residents' associations, expressed fears that the “advertising stunt” could lead to “rampant commercial use” of the road.

“Marine Drive is not a race track and no race should ever be held on it,” said a letter signed by Ashok Rao, council president.

“There's been a lot of accidents on the road because of rash driving and Lewis Hamilton will only encourage that,” Rao told AFP.

“There's already a speed limit of 50km/h.”

He also said the noise pollution and disruption were unsuitable in an area for which they are trying to obtain UNESCO heritage status.

“We have nothing against Lewis Hamilton. We would like to protect the area, that's it,” he said.

Organisers of the “Vodafone Speed Fest” said they had decided to shift the venue out of respect for locals' concerns.

“We also felt that the entire road stretch designated for the drive was not fit enough for a F1 car to ply,” said Vodafone India spokesman Suresh Rangarajan. -AFP


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