As many as 15 electric auto-rickshaws, part of a fleet used to ferry tourists around the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Narmada district, were gutted in a fire early Thursday morning. The Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA), however, denied reports that the rickshaws caught fire during battery charging.
A private firm manages a fleet of more than 90 electric auto-rickshaws for tourists who visit the Statue of Unity and employs local tribal women as drivers, an official said.
During early hours of Thursday, 15 auto-rickshaws parked at a charging station near Kevadia village caught fire due to unknown reasons. The autos were parked 35 feet away from the charging station which proves that rickshaws did not catch fire during battery charging,” said a statement issued by SOUADTGA. Personnel of the local fire brigade rushed to the spot and doused the fire before it could spread to other electric three-wheelers parked nearby, it said.
The private firm has filed a police complaint seeking to find out the exact cause of the fire, it added.
Statue of Unity, a statue of Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister, stands near Kevadia, 100 km from Vadodara city. At 182 metres, it is said to be the world’s tallest statue.
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