October 21: Sajha Yatayat’s plan to procure 300 electric buses has received a major setback. The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation has written a letter to Sajha Yatayat to halt the procurement process.
The ministry had written the letter to the company about a month ago. The company had corresponded with the ministry to allow it to move ahead with the plans but the ministry has not responded to the request.
The ministry said that it decided to halt the process after Sajha Yatayat tried to procure the buses against the criteria set by the government.
Spokesperson of the ministry, Rajeshwar Gyawali, clarified that the ministry is not against procurement of the buses but has demanded to halt the process for the time being. The ministry has asked the company to comply with the criteria.
“Sajha Yatayat changed the procurement criteria on its own. We cannot allow the procurement process to move ahead in the changed context,” said Gyawali.
Meanwhile, Sajha Yatayat has claimed that the new criteria comply with the standard set by the government. The company said that the government only set the framework while they made the criteria based on the framework, according to CEO of the company Bhushan Adhikari.
“The framework was silent on AC bus or normal bus so we decided to include AC bus,” said Adhikari.
He said that the criteria was prepared in consultations with the Department of Transport Management, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, and officials of the metropolitan cities of the Valley.