Kathmandu, Nepal: The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has blocked the purchase of electric buses alleging the Sajha Yatayat for changing the specifications approved by the ministry.
The MoPIT has issued a directive against of the Sajha Yatayat putting the procurement process on hold. The decision has put into uncertain the procurement process though the government had already made commitment to operate the electric buses before Dashan.
It is alleged that the government would have influenced by the public profit making buses entrepreneurs to bock the purchase of electric buses. As incumbent government has failed to dismantle the rooted syndicate system imposed in the public transports sectors despite its lauded commitment, people in general have raised such a suspicion over the intention of the government.
The ministry has justified the decision to block the procurement process stating that the decision was made after Sajha Yatayat changed the specifications approved by the cabinet. Rajeshwor Gyawali, Joint Secretary at the MoPIT, has said that the government has to approve the specifications but not the board of the Sajha Yatayat.
It seems that not only the issue of specifications but also the vested interest of some officials at the ministry would have played role to issue the directives. As the board of the Sajha Yatayat, which is formed even representing the officials at the same ministry, has slightly changed the specifications, it is likely that vested interests would have played role behind the curtain.
The government had provided Rs 3 billion to Sajha Yatayat for the purchase and operation of 300 electric buses in Kathmandu Valley on July, 2019.