Union Minister for Roads and Highways Nitin Gadkari has denied reports of him having any commercial interest in the e-rickshaw manufacturing sector.
"Nitin Gadkari has no commercial interests whatsoever with the e-rickshaw manufacturing sector nor has he got any link with the Purti Green Technologies Pvt Ltd, which, according to reports in a section of the media, has shown interest in manufacturing battery-run rickshaws," a statement issued on behalf of Gadkari said.
"Battery-run e-rickshaws have been in operation in several parts of the country for so many years and these are being manufactured by a large number of companies in different states. More than two lakh e-rickshaws are already operating in Delhi NCR and other parts of the country," it added.
The release further said that the production of e-rickshaw is allowed only to manufacturers who have obtained a license from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
"It is up to the CSIR to grant license to e-rickshaw manufacturers and any firm interested in its production is free to apply for a license to the CSIR and start production," it said.
"Neither Gadkari nor any member of his family is associated with any e-rickshaw manufacturing firm," it added.
Purti Group's Public Relation Officer Nitin Kulkarni denied all reports on this, saying, “Purti group has not manufactured any auto till date, and we had not bid for any contract earlier. We don't agree with the news reports and we will defend it.”
(With agency inputs)