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IANS

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has refuted media reports that claimed the government has asked electric two-wheeler manufacturers to refrain from launching any new products in the market in the wake of EV fires.

The Ministry issued a clarification saying it has not asked any EV manufacturer to stop production.

"A section of media has reported that MoRTH has asked electric two-whaler manufacturers not to launch new vehicles till instances of fire are investigated," it said in a tweet late on Thursday.

"The Ministry wishes to clarify that there is no such instruction and such reports are unfounded, misleading and far from the truth."

Earlier this week, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari cautioned EV makers to recall all faulty two-wheelers, saying that some EV batteries may be facing issues owing to extreme hot weather conditions the country is currently going through.

Stressing that the government seeks to make EVs more popular among the masses, the Minister said the EV industry has just started.

"We don't want to put a hurdle but safety is first and foremost priority," he added.

Gadkari had warned EV makers that if any company is found negligent in their processes, "a heavy penalty will be imposed and a recall of all defective vehicles will also be ordered".

"We have constituted an Expert Committee to inquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps. Based on the reports, we will issue necessary orders on the defaulting companies," he had said, adding that the government will soon issue quality-centric guidelines for electric vehicles.

His comments came as the country is going through a spate of EV fires and deadly battery blasts.

To date, three Pure EV, one Ola, two Okinawa and 20 Jitendra EV scooters have caught fire in the country, raising burning questions about their safety.

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