The thronging unruly crowds at the Auto Expo on Friday had Mahindra Group vice chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra vent his ire at the "dismal" crowd management and decide against revisiting the Pragati Maidan where his company unveiled its latest products.
Commenting on the chaotic state of affairs, Mahindra tweeted: "The crowd management is dismal. Wall to wall people on a media day? Either management is lax or media is the most popular profession in India."
Mahindra's comments came after the first two days, which are kept as the official business and media interaction days, saw press personnel and exhibitors being physically harassed by thousands of freeloaders. The event opens fro public from Jan 7, when around 100,000 visitors are expected at Pragati Maidan.
"Shudder to think of the stampede tomorrow when it opens to the public. This is the first time I've no desire to return for a second visit."
"Fare on display at Auto Expo is the richest I've seen. Infrastructure is still the poorest and beams a contradictory picture to the world."
Mahindra also suggested in his tweet that the expo should try and find a new home to give the mega event a new face.
"Auto Expo needs to find a new, more capacious and tidier home. Or the world will be happy to give the go-by to Indian auto's shop window."
Agreeing with Mahindra's views, Vicky Chandhok, president, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) tweeted: "Got there last evening from Madras (Chennai) and would have normally gone back today but headed back! Just no crowd control!"
Trudging from hall to hall in search for free media kits and a chance to see Bollywood stars who are invited either to launch or unveil vehicles, the crowds have on occasion completely overrun the venue making the life of event managers, media persons and exhibitors tough.
The 11th edition of the Auto Expo will conclude on January 11. The event at the sprawling Pragati Maidan exposition grounds promises a slew of launches and first-time exhibits of vehicles in virtually every segment and hopes to draw some 500,000 footfalls, the organisers said.
Held every two years, the event is being co-hosted by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).