Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari today launched the Bharat NCAP safety ratings, India’s own crash testing safety programme. The Bharat NCAP test is a voluntary assessment programme aimed to rate various cars in India on their safety standards. The rating will be given in stars, ranging from 0 to 5, helping buyers make informed buying decisions, hence giving an impetus to road safety in India. Gadkari said that it was a historic day for the country and that requests have been received for crash testing of 30 models.
Addressing a gathering following the launching of Bharat NCAP, Gadkari said: “Today is a very important day in the history of Indian automobile industry but even also it is important for the society. I really appreciate the way in which the Indian automobile industry cooperates and because of their cooperation today it is a time for all of us that we are launching the Bharat NCAP programme.”
Speaking about the cost of the programme, the Minister said the testing will cost only 1/4th the price in the international market. “It was a mission of the government. Cost of testing from abroad is Rs 2.5 crore and in India under the Bharat NCAP it is Rs 60 lakhs. And with global standards your market is going to increase. I am really happy that it is helpful for the consumers. By the star rating people can understand the quality of the product and now we are going to create awareness in the mind of the people.”
He said that the cost of one test, which is voluntary, will be around Rs 60 lakhs, as against Rs 2.5 crore in international market. He also said that there is a huge demand for higher star rating vehicles. “People are cautious about safety, pollution. People want to use different type of fuel. If anywhere there is a new alternative available then they are ready to use,” he said.
“Today we have got a request to test and certify 30 models from several manufacturers. We have received 30 vehicles for the rating under Bharat NCAP and I am happy with the response.” Gadkari also highlighted that India is facing two important challenges — one is road accidents and another is air pollution, and “in some way our Ministry is responsible for that”.
He said that every year 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths takes place in India. “Every day 1,100 accidents and 400 deaths and every hour 47 accidents and 18 deaths. 70 per cent death is of 18 to 34 years and loss of GDP is 3.14 per cent.”
He also said head on collisions killed 27,000 people, while 18,000 died due to side collisions. Emphasising on saving lives, Gadkari said that “this is the time we have highest priority for how we can save the lives of the people and road safety is the most important thing for that”.