Greater Noida, Jan 13 (IANS) Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, along with Minister of Heavy Industries, Mahendra Nath Pandey, officially inaugurated the Auto Expo 2023 here on Thursday.
The event will be open for businesses on January 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will open for the general public from January 14 to 18 from 11 a.m. However, the closing timings are 8 p.m. for January 14-15, 7 p.m. for January 16-17 and 6 p.m. for January 18.
In his inaugural address, Gadkari urged the auto industry to enhance safety features in vehicles to reduce deaths due to road accidents.
Gadkari said in his opening remarks that the government’s goal is to cut down on accidents by 50 per cent by the end of 2024, as he requested the auto industry to take suo moto action for road safety as the government doesn’t want to make anything mandatory.
Gadkari said: “We aim to make India’s automobile industry the world leader in terms of manufacturing, but our goal is to cut down on road accidents by 50 per cent by the end of 2024.”
The minister claimed that many young individuals between the age group of 18 and 34 die in road accidents.
He emphasised that as road infrastructure has improved, so too has the pace at which cars are driven.
“I’m sending you my best wishes once more, knowing that in five years this industry will become the world’s leading manufacturing hub. You are all capable of doing achieving this goal,” Gadkari said.
The minister also asked the auto sector for assistance on the scrapping front.
“During the scrapping process, the cost of raw materials for the automotive industry was reduced by 33 per cent, while sales increased by 10-12 per cent. Additionally, becaus people who are going to junk their car are going to buy a new one, your turnover will rise,” Gadkari said.
He also suggested the auto companies to offer discounts to buyers of new cars who present their scrappage credentials.
“If you can offer a discount, it will be advantageous for you because it will boost your sales and earnings,” the minister said.
According to Gadkari, it is possible to repurpose metals and semiconductors from scrapped vehicles, which will lower the price of finished goods.
On air pollution, the minister emphasised that now is the moment to cut back on fossil fuel imports and EV exports.
“Sometimes, I do not feel like coming to Delhi because of air pollution,” he said.
Speaking onthe occasion, Mahendra Nath Pandey lamented that despite India having only 1 per cent of the world’s automobiles, it accounts for 11 per cent of all road-related fatalities worldwide.
Pandey also said that fast chargers for e-vehicles are being developed by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), which will soon be available in the market.