Why 2 IPS Officers in K’taka Are At Loggerheads Over a Phone Call
D Roopa has alleged corruption in the multi-crore Bengaluru Safe City Project.
Allegations and counter-allegations between two IPS officers in Karnataka over charges of corruption, has led to the Karnataka government ordering a probe by the Bengaluru police commissioner.
The entire controversy began following a phone call by Karnataka Home Secretary D Roopa to a Project Consultant allegedly requesting a copy of the classified Request for Proposal (RFP) before its publication. She requested the RFP for the multi-crore Bengaluru Safe City Project.
Even as the probe is on, both officers continue to level allegations against each other. So, what is the latest controversy brewing in the Karnataka police?
A Phone Call that Started It All
On 7 December, Additional Commissioner of Police (administration) Hemant Nimbalkar wrote to the Karnataka Chief Secretary alleging that an officer impersonated the state Home Secretary and asked for classified information regarding the tender of Rs 620 crore Bangalore Safe City project.
Hours after the details on this letter became public, on Saturday, 26 December morning, D Roopa wrote that it was she who made the call and she was indeed the home secretary.
She alleged that she found irregularities in the project and called to find details about the order. Hemant Nimbalkar is the chairman of both the Tender Inviting Committee and the Tender Scrutiny Committee for the project.
She further added that she intervened in her capacity as home secretary after the file was given to her by Additional chief secretary, (home department) Rajneesh Goel.
However, Goel sent another letter asking Roopa to submit a copy of any official instructions asking her to look into the Bengaluru Safe City Project. “I have gone through the notings of the Safe City Project available in the home department. The file has never been marked to you and also does not contain any observations/comments made by you. Please let me know whether you have penned any observations in the file or brought any matter to the notice of CS or mine,” he wrote.
Soon after these allegations, IPS officer Nimbalkar claimed there has been no allegation till date that the RFP has been drafted with bias, not even by the bidders. In a press conference on Sunday, Hemant Nimbalkar said: "There is no bidder (for the project) at the moment since the final date (for submission of bids) is 8 January. After the bid submission, technical bids will be opened, and quality and cost will be considered. Then pre-qualification and technical qualification will be checked, and they will be asked to give a proof of concept."
He further added that BEL did not compete in Call 1 as a bidder.
“Three bidders who came forward did not qualify beyond the pre-qualification process and were not considered for the technical qualification process. So, there is no question of bias coming here. Then in Call 2, three companies qualified in June – Larsen & Toubro, Matrix and BEL. BEL's bid was accepted," he said.
He further added that tender committee’s decision not to allow that Chinese-made products led to the cancellation of the second tender.
Senior officers said that a report will be submitted by the Police Commissioner soon.
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