Airbags: Gadkari puts brakes on plan to make 6 airbags must for cars

NEW DELHI: Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the government has decided against mandating six airbags on Indian cars, arguing that the new Bharat NCAP safety standards and star rating on cars will itself prompt companies to go for adding more safety apparatus to attract buyers.
He also said that the entire auto industry was on board on the safety feature, but for one player, stopping short of naming the company.
Responding to a question at the annual meeting of ACMA, the auto components lobby group, Gadkari said, making Indian roads and vehicles safer remained the top priority for the government, considering that annually there are around 5 lakh accidents, resulting in over 1.5 lakh deaths. “This is a dark area in my ministry,” he said, while blaming “human behaviour”, among other factors, behind the unfortunate numbers.
On the issue of six airbags, he said: “Now people are cautious. Whichever model has six airbags, people may prefer to take that car. It’s up to the manufacturers and people to decide… We don’t want to make the six airbags rule for cars mandatory.”
While the road transport ministry had issued a draft notification mandating six airbags in all cars from October, the government did not follow it up with the final order amid intense lobbying led by one of the largest car makers in the country.
The company, which had raised concerns about the plan, wanted more time to implement the scheme, sources told TOI.
Speaking on other issues such as upgrading the emission norms to BS7 (from the existing BS6), the minister said the government wants to move forward only after discussing the measure with the industry. “We want to consult the players before making any such decision.”
He also said that the government is now in the process of conceptualising specific “highways for electrics” and wants participation from the private sector in it. “We are doing the first pilot for this in Nagpur and want more and more private companies to be a part of this initiative.”
The minister also said that the industry now needs to look at means and ways to move towards sustainable mobility by making electrics, CNG, and flex fuel vehicles. “We need to find ways to tackle the growing pollution across cities, while also controlling the country’s fuel import bill.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *