Two IPS officers trade charges over Rs 620-cr tender

IPS officers Nimbalkar, Roopa trade charges over Rs 620-cr tender

The controversy surrounding the Rs 620-crore tender under the Bengaluru Safe City project continued on Sunday with Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration) Hemanth Nimbalkar and Inspector General of Police (Home Secretary) D Roopa trading accusations. 

Nimbalkar refuted Roopa’s allegations of irregularities at a press conference, insisting that the entire process has been transparent. The project, proposed under the central government’s Nirbhaya Funds, envisages the installation of 7,500 surveillance cameras in the city. 

“On certain forums, it has been alleged that Bharat Electronics Limited was wrongly disqualified, but it is far from the truth as the company never participated in the tender process,” Nimbalkar said. 

Nimbalkar, the chairman of the tender inviting authority for the project, said the first call for the tender was cancelled on January 16, 2020, as all the three participants did not meet the conditions for pre-qualification requirements even though the matter never reached the technical evaluation during call-1. 

After verifying the pre-qualification and technical requirements, the tender scrutiny committee on June 20 accepted three bids from Larsen & Toubro, Matrix Security & Surveillance Private Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd. The second call was cancelled because the state government issued an order to ban all products from China. “The order dated for July 16, 2020, also called for a ban on any and all products that are a part of the procurement process,” he said. 

“The Karnataka government has launched an independent inquiry into the unauthorised means that were used to approach the Project Management Consultant for Safe City Project,” Nimbalkar added. 

He admitted writing to the chief secretary on December 7 about “someone impersonating the home secretary and trying to access classified information pertaining to the requisition for proposal and details of the tenders”.

Wrong facts: Roopa

Roopa accused Nimbalkar of giving wrong facts and misleading the government. Claiming that even the third call of the tender has gross irregularities, she said the minimum annual turnover for the qualifying bidder must be Rs 500 crore, while the tender had fixed it at Rs 250 crore. 

Roopa reiterated BEL’s complaint that the tender favoured particular vendors. While the tender deals with the ‘supply of goods and services’, it has been wrongly classified as ‘consultancy services’. 

Claiming the rules prescribed by the standard bid documents were not applied in the process, Roopa said: “The violations of the KTPP Act and Rules are endless. Nimbalkar has been misguiding the higher authorities in the government.” 

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