Two top IPS officers in spat over Rs 619-cr CCTV tender

Two top IPS officers in spat over Rs 619-cr CCTV tender

D Roopa

Allegations of 'impersonation' in a tender process worth Rs 619 crore to procure CCTVs under the 'Nirbhaya Fund' to safeguard women and children in Bengaluru has now blown into a full-fledged fight between two senior IPS officers of Karnataka.

The officers concerned are Inspector General of Police and Secretary (Prison, Civil Defence, and Auxiliary Services) D Roopa and Inspector General of Police and Additional Commissioner of Police (Admin) Hemant Nimbalkar.

Nimbalkar, who is also the chairperson of the tender inviting authority of the Safe City Project, Bengaluru had written to the Chief Secretary on December 7 requesting an inquiry into the alleged impersonation of the Home Secretary for gaining access to classified information on RFP (request for proposal) for the Safe City Project before the publication of tender for wrongful gains.

Following the reports that a top woman IPS officer 'impersonated' the Home Secretary, Roopa wrote to the Chief Secretary on December 2 alleging that Nimbalkar made a false and motivated complaint against her.

Besides, she also requested in her letter, a copy of which is with DH, "The government needs to remove Nimbalkar from Safe City project and conduct an inquiry on the biased and unfair tender. The whistleblower IPS officer D Roopa needs to be protected by the government."

Drawing the attention of the government towards alleged irregularities in the tender, Roopa wrote, "Unfair and biassed tender was drafted to favour a particular vendor. Besides, the Navratna Govt PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd was wrongly disqualified in the tender by Tender Scrutiny Committee and tender was sought to be given to a particular vendor. BEL complained to PMO and this led to the cancellation of the biased tender."

She further claimed that the file on the Safe City project was given to her by Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department (Rajneesh Goel) to study and it is in the same capacity and context that she spoke to Ernst and Young - the project management consultants for the Safe City project to ascertain more facts on the matter.

Rajneesh Goel, ACS (Home Dept) has sought an explanation from D Roopa on seven points she has raised in her letter.

The calendar of events of the Smart City project from December 14, 2013, to 24 December 2020, a copy of which is accessed by DH does not reveal any direction by the PMO and instead attributes to the state government's order dated July 16, 2020, banning Chinese products.

Reacting to D Roopa's letter to the Chief Secretary, Nimbalkar in a statement said, "I am a public servant governed by rules. I cannot react on frivolous and false social media posts unless the authenticity of the letter is confirmed by the competent authority. Once the authority (CS) confirms that 'X' has written the letter, I will give a point by point rebuttal before the appropriate forum or courts by initiating series of actions. I hope the letter doing the rounds is authentic because it will help me in exposing the dual face of extra-constitutional authorities who are trying to meddle with the tender process unauthorisedly under the garb of whistleblowing."