Union Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Minister Anant G. Geete recently inaugurated the test track facility developed by Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC) at Oragadam, Chennai. The same has been notified to issue certificates under CMVR 1989. GARC Chennai is a body working under the NATRiP (National Automotive Testing & R&D Infra Project). On this occasion Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State HI&PE; MC Sampath Minister for Industries, Government of TN; KN Ramachandran, Member of Parliament; K Palani, MLA from the Sriperumbudur constituency; officials from the Ministry of HI&PE and NATRIP and other dignitaries from industry, institution and academia were also present.
Increase in GDP
Speaking on this occasion Geete stated that the Indian automotive sector plays a very important role in the country’s manufacturing sector and is likely to contribute by 12 per cent in the country’s GDP over the next decade. Last year, the Government of India in collaboration with the Indian automotive industry had raised the curtain for the Automotive Mission Plan 2016–26.
At present, the Indian auto industry is contributing by approximately 7.1 per cent to the country’s total GDP. Recently, India’s two wheeler industry has become the largest market in the world thus replacing China. Nowadays, technologies are evolving; the Government of India is also looking forward to adopt new and different pathways to promote clean, safe, cheap and futuristic mobility services. This will help in creating new jobs both in research, development and the manufacturing sector. As per the recent report of NITI Aayog on Transformative Mobility Solutions for All, India can reduce its energy demand by 64 per cent and carbon emissions by 37 per cent with the help of connected, shared and electric passenger mobility across the country.
The Minister said that currently the government is also promoting the use of electric vehicles under the FAME India Scheme, as it would help the government to reduce the dependency on oil imports. The NATRiP will play a crucial role to achieve the goals set by the government in the automotive sector under various initiatives such as BNVSAP, up-coming BS VI emission norms, Make in India initiative, Skill India, Minimum Government Maximum Governance, etc in the coming years.
He added that NATRiP is the largest and one of the most significant initiative of the Government of India in the automotive sector so far and represents a unique joining of hands between the Government of India, a number of state governments and Indian automotive industry to create a state of the art testing, validation and R&D infrastructure in the country.
The Project aims at creating core global competencies in the automotive sector in India and facilitate seamless integration of the Indian automotive industry with the world. It also aims to position the country prominently on the global automotive map, Geete added.
He said that the GARC is one of the biggest test centre established by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises under NATRiP which is spread over 304 acre of land and also includes research & development laboratories and test tracks at a single location.
The GARC comprises full-fledged homologation test facilities including the Test Tracks to certify all categories of vehicles, systems and components as per national and international standards.
This centre is surrounded by major automobile manufacturers such as Hyundai, Daimler, Renault, Nissan, Ford, BMW, Mitsubishi and many component manufacturers. Recently, the Government of India has notified GARC as one of the authorized test agency for ‘Type Approval and Homologation Testing’ under Rule No.126 of CMVR.
The Minister express the hope that homologation facilities will help the manufacturer to save their cost to test their product elsewhere in the country or abroad for both the domestic and international market. He said it is evident from the construction works that these test tracks are of global standards. He expressed confidence that these facilities will attract many more major players from the automotive industry to setup their facilities in the state of Tamil Nadu.
GARC-Chennai with an overall investment of Rs 963 crore is one of the largest endeavours under the NATRiP banner. GARC is one of the six facilities being developed under NATRiP under the Department of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, Government of India. GARC has a total of 304 acre of land where it houses all other automotive test related facilities and out of that the test track covers ¾th of the total land area.
It has five different types of test track namely high speed track (HST), gradient or hill track, External noise track (ENT), Braking surface track (BST) & steering pad. The total cost of the test tracks project is Rs 193.25 crore.
GARC is located in the southern auto-cluster of the country and is now notified under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 to issue test certificates for homologation. The facilities are expected to be used by the automotive OEMs and component manufacturers for homologation and R&D. The commissioning of this facility is expected to encourage effects towards ‘Made in India’ and invite greater investments in the automotive and automotive component sector.