To improve the connectivity by road in South East Asian region and to sensitize the stakeholders of India Myanmar and Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement regarding potential benefits of such a regulatory regime, a Friendship Motor Car Rally from Delhi to Bangkok was organized from 13th November to 3rd decemeber,2016. The rally was flagged off by Minister of State and Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical Fertilizers Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya from India Gate lawns in New Delhi on 13th November,2016. His excellency Chalit Manityakul, Ambassador of Thailand to India, Shri Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, MoRTH, Ms Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), MEA and other dignitaries also attended the flag-off ceremony.
The rally caravan covered a distance of 5,722 KMs along tough terrain on the IMT Trilateral Highway with about 63 participants from all the three countries, in 21 Indian made vehicles on a journey from Delhi to Bangkok over 20days. Ceremonial flag-offs were also held in other major cities and provincial capitals en-route like Lucknow, Sarnath, Patna, Siliguri, Guwahati, Shillong, Kaziranga, Kohima and Imphal in India and at Kale, Mandalay, Began, Naypyitaw, Yangon and Mawlamyaing in Myanmar and at Mae Sot and Sukhothai in Thailand and concluded at Bangkok on 2nd December 2016.
The friendship motor car rally was organized by Kalinga Motor Sports Club, Bhubaneswar, Odisha & Indian Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata, under the aegis of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, with the support in cash and kind from Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of DONER, Government of India, Asian Development Bank and the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur.
Two major Indian motor vehicle manufacturing companies, The Mahindra & Mahindra and The TATA Motors, supported the event by providing INDIAN MADE CARS along with service crew. The vehicles showed the best performance that could be compared with any other motor vehicle manufactured around the world. In the entire trip from 3rd November to 18th December including the return journey from Bangkok to Guwahati, the Rally faced only one flat tyre. Amazing Made in India!