Nepal Police has expedited the procurement process at a time when it has cited lack of budget to procure even PPE, gloves, masks and other safety equipment necessary for police personnel responding to the Covid-19 pandemic on the field.
KATHMANDU, June 23: At a time when police personnel on the field are responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic without PPE, gloves, masks and other safety equipment, Nepal Police is procuring a surveillance vehicle with LTE Rapid Communication System for Prime Minister KP Oli. Nepal Police Headquarters has expedited the process to procure the surveillance vehicle with the rapid communication system from the budget allocated to it in fiscal year 2019/20.
Although the vehicle worth Rs 50 million is not needed immediately, Inspector General of Nepal Police, Thakur Gyawali has given special interest to the procurement and directed the department concerned in the police to expedite the procurement process at the earliest. Huawei’s Nepal representative Honey Enterprise and Mobility Private Limited has been shortlisted for procuring the vehicle.
The equipment in the vehicle will keep the surveillance of the Prime Minister’s escort vehicles. Sources said the procurement process of the equipment that is said to provide video report to police control room if there is any physical assault or other mishaps has reached close to the final stage at the suggestion of Prime Minister’s IT Expert Asgar Ali.
Directorate of Information and Technology of Nepal Police had invited tender for the procurement of the equipment on March 2. Although the police had called a pre-bidding meeting on March 21, the process was then put on hold. Although a similar meeting was postponed twice on May 2 and June 3 for some reasons, Nepal Police Headquarters had taken a decision on June 17 and shortlisted two companies.
Police leadership has failed to answer why the organization is in a rush to procure the equipment deemed not necessary at the moment. Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Niraj Bahadur Shahi said he is not aware about the development. “The Logistics Department of Police looks after the bidding process. The Information Technology Department must be procuring the equipment out of necessity,” he said.
In 2015, the Chinese government provided the same equipment to the Nepal government. Nepal Police has already brought the equipment that has been gathering dust in the store of Nepal Telecom for years. “The communication system with surveillance is not needed by Nepal Police now. If you need any information about it, you need to ask the Prime Minister’s IT Expert [Asgar Ali],” said a senior official of Nepal Police.
Although one such communication is already staying useless with Nepal Police now, Nepal Police is expediting the process to procure the same equipment under pressure from the high political offices, sources said. “The police organization that cited the lack of budget even to procure PPE, gloves, masks and other safety equipment for the police personnel in the field, has expedited the process to procure the equipment worth Rs 50 million without clarifying its purpose. Police himself is behind the procurement,” said a senior police official, asking not to be named.