Nitin Gadkari asks Indian carmakers to put vehicle safety as top priority
Union minister Nitin Gadkari has asked carmakers in India to concentrate more on vehicle build quality and safety features to be at par with international standards and help reduce fatalities due to road accidents on Indian roads.
Addressing a virtual event on Monday, Gadkari slammed the Indian car manufacturers for poor quality despite commanding huge market share. "OEMs have huge market share in Indian auto industry, (despite that) they are unfortunately performing very poorly," he said. Gadkari also said that safety audits have been mandated at all stages of road development to reduce accidents.
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Gadkari said, "There is a need to improve bus body quality. I would urge vehicle manufacturers to constantly improve vehicle standards to align with international benchmarks." He also said that vehicle manufacturing companies have a huge social responsibility to make sure that cars and two-wheelers do not compromise with global crash standards even if it comes with a higher cost.
Gadkari said that India witnesses a very high rate of road accidents. According to data shared by the ministry, around 1.5 lakh Indians are killed every year due to road accidents, which is even higher than the Covid-19 deaths. Gadkari said out of all the fatalities, about 60 per cent of them are of two-wheeler riders.
The minister had earlier set a target for his ministry to reduce road accidents in India by 50 per cent in the next four years, and zero accidents and deaths by the end of the decade. The minister also said it was his moral responsibility to make good roads and improve road infrastructure. He said, "We are making beautiful roads. At the same time, we are implementing all safety measures in road construction."
Gadkari said in the global scenario vehicle engineering technology has matured to a great extent and stressed on the importance of training of drivers and establishment of advanced training institutes and centres.