January 24: The government has decided to recover the amount it had given to Sajha Yatayat for the purchase of electric buses with interest. A recent cabinet meeting took a decision to this effect, said Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota on Thursday (January 23). Minister Baskota, who is also the government’s spokesperson, said the government took such decision due to the failure of Sajha Yatayat to purchase the vehicles within the stipulated time period.
The government had provided Rs 3 billion to the transport company some six months ago on July 17 to purchase 300 electric buses. While releasing the amount, the government had asked the company to operate the vehicles in Kathmandu within four months.
However, Sajha had told the government that the time given to it was insufficient to procure the vehicles through bidding process and had also urged the government for taking initiative for G2G model for bringing in the vehicles.
But the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport wrote a letter to Sajha on September 18, 2019 instructing it not to take any action until further notice. The ministry said it issued the letter after Sajha changed the specifications of the electric buses during the procurement process.
Chairman of Sajha Yatayat Kanak Mani Dixit refutes the allegations saying that the government had provided only a general outline of the specifications to the company which was later revised with the consent of all stakeholders including officials from the transport ministry, Department of Transport, Investment Board Nepal, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Metropolitan City.