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Corruption watchdog seeks e-bus procurement details

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority has written to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to inquire about the procurement of electric buses, which are being sent back to the supplier for a number of faults.

The CIAA sent a letter to the ministry asking it for details on the purchase of five e-buses, manufactured by the Chinese company BYD.

The delivery of e-buses, which was celebrated as the beginning of e-mobility in the country, has attracted public attention due to the failure to operate them for months.

The government decided to return the five 20-seater electric buses that it purchased for the Lumbini Development Trust with a grant from the Asian Development Bank. Brought over two months ago, these C6 e-buses would be used for ferrying visitors from the Bhairahawa International Airport to various tourist destinations in Lumbini.

CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwor Dangal confirmed that they have sought the details of the purchase of e-buses. After the technical committee formed by the ministry to inspect the imported buses found them to be substandard, the ministry has informed the supplier to take back the buses.

The committee consisting of mechanical and electrical engineers found 17 issues in the buses during test drive and direct inspection, calling them different from the original specifications given in the contract.

Nepal representatives of the BYD, the leading e-bus manufacturer in the world, expressed their reservations with the Post over the ways the buses were tested while demanding reassessment of the imported vehicles.

A ministry official told the Post that the CIAA has also sought the technical committee’s report that mentions the problems in the vehicles.

Ghanashyam Upadhyaya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told the Post that the supplier was ready to take back these buses as the government had already rejected them.

“They have admitted their fault. They have requested more time for taking the buses back and supplying new ones,” Upadhyaya told the Post. The BYD has yet to deliver eleven 7-seater e-buses.


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