GUWAHATI, July 31 - To make consumers aware of different aspects of car safety, a State-level car safety workshop was organised today by Consumer Voice in collaboration with Consumers� Legal Protection Forum, Assam at the Ambika Academy Auditorium at Hatigaon Chariali here.
�India is world�s sixth largest car market and 2.03 million passenger cars were sold in India last year. India has been witnessing a spurt in road accidents, resulting in the largest number of road deaths and injuries in the world. Approximately 1,374 crashes and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads. One of the major reasons behind high casualities in road accidents is the lack of safety features in Indian cars which have been criticized as being insufficient and ineffective compared to those in developed countries,� said advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary, Consumers� Legal Protection Forum at the workshop.
Participating as a speaker, automobile expert Mrinal Medhi said, �When the world is gearing up for fully automated self driven cars, most of the cars sold in India lack even the basic safety features like air bags, antilock braking systems (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) etc. Due to absence of strict safety regulations and testing procedures like the global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), manufacturers design their cars in India without essential car safety features in name of cost cutting. Recently, when some of the popular cars in India were tested on NCAP standards, four out of five failed badly�.
Presiding over the workshop, noted social worker Atul Chandra Dutta said that while buying a car, consumers should give preference to safety features and not just to its looks, price and other luxuries.
Swagata Kashyap, lecturer of JB Law College, retired government official Kalyan Kumar Borthakur, agriculture expert Durgeswar Thakuria, Biplaba Nanda Choudhury of Grahak Suraksha Sangstha and other speakers from different fields also voiced their concern on the lack of safety features in the vehicles plying on Indian roads.
The speakers insisted that it was time to press for better safety regulation and standards in India at par with global safety standards. The workshop was attended by more than 100 participants, including consumers, students, representatives from various organisations and government officials from various departments from all over the State.