The electric market in Nepal is booming. Plus, both the Government of Nepal and Nepal Electric Association (NEA) are heavily focused on promoting just that. Just a few days ago, NEA announced a 45-day global tender to built 50 Charging Stations across Nepal.
Okay, there’s a lot happening in the e-Market scene. You have Project Zero going to launch Nepal’s First Electric Motorcycle, Hulas Motors Da Vinci with Nepal’s First Electric Car, even Sundar Yatayat has plans to build electric vehicles assembly plant in Nepal.
While every news deserves its own spotlight, the Transportation Ministry’s announcement of this tender deserves an extra bit of attention.
Before we do that, let’s get some details first.
The government of Nepal wants to promote e-Buses in Nepal. So, it has assigned Ministry Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT)) to set up a tender to procure 300 electric buses. Currently, the ministry is working to finalizing paperwork to procure all the 300 buses at a time.
Previously, the Government allocated Rs. 3 Billion to buy electric buses. So, the amount will remain unchanged.
Since this is a government process, it will take some time. However, we can expect to see a listing of the tender in local newspapers.
Transportation Ministry vs Sajha Yatayat: What Went Wrong?
Okay, that was the entire news. However, time moves fast. Let’s take a quick stroll down the memory lane, this has already happened a few months ago.
Sajha Yatayat had successfully obtained the tender to buy and operate over 300 e-buses in the Nepali market. Interestingly, the Government had set forth a list of specifications, basic guidelines that highlighted technical specifications of the e-Bus. Moreover, the specification document was approved by a cabinet meeting.
So, Sajha Yatayat had to follow those specifications, acquire those 300 e-Buses, and it would have been the end of it. Unfortunately, things went sideways.
The government had provided specifications approved by a cabinet meeting. However, after three months of the release of the funds, they altered the specifications.”
Rajeshwor Gyawali, Joint Secretary at MoPIT
Sajha Yatayat denied such claims, stating that there’s a huge difference between theoretical specifications and practical implementations. While Sajha Yatayat says that the company implemented 90% of specification from the document, the rest of the changes were made based on past experience, experts’ suggestion, and a literature review.
Clearly, Sajha Yatayat took the “specifications document” as a “reference document”. However, that didn’t sit well with the Govt of Nepal. So, Sajha Yatayat had to refund the Govt the Rs. 3 Billion with interest! Therefore, Sajha Yatayat seems to be out of the picture.
Finally, we reach the present! Personally, it’s a bummer because I really like the way Sajha Bus operates. Anyways, I’ll be more than happy to see 300 e-buses on the roads of Nepal But I do hope the Government dedicates enough resources and research to prevent something like that from happening ever again.
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