Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme, also known as the Bharat NCAP, has already been notified by his Ministry.
Responding to the question by Congress MP KTS Tulsi about the safety norms in vehicle manufacturing, as the deaths in vehicle accidents have gone up in the country, Gadkari said that all over the world, the major car manufacturing companies have the safety standards and this is also need of the hour in India.
“Every year, over five lakh of accidents happen in India, reporting over 1.5 lakh deaths in these accidents, therefore, we took a decision and made six airbags mandatory for all cars," he said.
The Minister also said that compulsory airbags are very important from a road safety point of view and that is why we made them mandatory for all cars including in the economic models too.
Citing the figure of the road accidents, he said that in the year 2020, a total of 25,289 accidents happened out of which 30 per cent of lives could have been saved with by the airbags in case of front collision while 31 per cent of lives could have been saved in side collision by the use of side airbags.
He also said that under the Bharat NCAP, the structural safety of the vehicle, adult occupants, stiffness of the vehicle structure, crash tests safety of child occupants, assessment of the car from the pedestrian’s safety point of view and the bonnet design, active safety assistance technology, six airbags norms, 3.5 seat belts and seat belt alert system, have been included as the new features.
“We want to protect the lives of the people and this is the reason, we are also going to start the ‘rating system’ for the manufacturing companies. This will create more employment opportunities in the vehicle manufacturing sector and boost exports as well," Gadkari said.
The Bharat NCAP will envisage the cars sold in the country will be assigned by star ratings based on their safety performance. It will be implemented in phases, according to the plans being drawn up by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project.