MoRTH orders probe into Secunderabad dealership fire

A team of experts, designated by the ministry, will visit the dealership after the police submit its preliminary findings.

By Amit Vijay M calendar 14 Sep 2022 Views icon3732 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Ministry for Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has ordered a preliminary enquiry into the fire that broke out, Tuesday, at an electric bike showroom in Secunderabad. The fire at the Gemopai electric vehicle showroom took the lives of eight persons, 10 were  injured.

A team of experts, designated by the ministry, will visit the dealership after the police submits its preliminary findings, a senior official from MoRTH said speaking to Autocar Professional

MoRTH  had earlier constituted an expert committee, chaired by ARCl Hyderabad director  Tata Narsingh Rao, Centre for Fire, Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES) scientist  M K Jain,  Indian Institute of Science principal research scientist Subba Reddy, and IIT Madras professor Devendra Jalihal as members,  to recommend additional safety requirements to the current battery safety standards as notified under CMV Rules.

In April, several cases of electric two-wheelers catching fire were reported. These incidents prompted the government to form a panel to examine the reasons for the fires.

The ministry on August 29, 2022, has issued an amendment to AIS 156- Specific requirements for motor vehicles of L category with electric power train, and amendment 2 to AIS 038 with specific requirements for Electric Power Train of motor vehicles of M category and N category (motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying goods which may also carry persons in addition to the goods)," the release said.

According to the latest draft, additional safety requirements have now been put in place for battery cells, battery management systems (BMS), onboard charger, battery pack design, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short-circuits which can lead to fires.

The new norms will come into effect from October 1, 2022 and have also been opposed by a segment of the industry stating that the time period for implementation is too less.

Gemopai which is a joint venture between Goreen E-Mobility and Opai Electric and  claims to have sold more than 15 million electric 2-wheelers worldwide.

The Centre has announced financial aid of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 for the injured. The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh to families of those who died.

Tags: MoRTH
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