Bengaluru: I intervened as home secretary, says D Roopa | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Rs 620-crore Bengaluru Safe City Project, envisaged to make urban spaces safe for women and children through installation of 7,500 surveillance cameras across the city, has sparked off an intense round of claims and counter-claims among Karnataka’s top bureaucrats and police officers.
The project, which is in the tender processing stage, was mired in controversy after the Bengaluru city police complained to chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar that an “unauthorised person” had tried to access classified information related to it.
On Saturday morning, IPS officer D Roopa wrote to the chief secretary (CS) stating she had intervened in the matter in her capacity as home secretary after the file on the project was given to her by additional chief secretary (home department) Rajneesh Goel for studying it.
When contacted by STOI, chief secretary Bhaskar stated Roopa was ‘Secretary (PCAS), home department’ and not the head of the home department.
Barely hours after Roopa’s letter was made public, Goel replied, asking her to furnish a copy of the government order or written instructions that stated that if any of the responsibilities of implementing the Bengaluru Safe City Project had been entrusted to her.
This follows a complaint filed by Bengaluru additional police commissioner Hemant Nimbalkar, who is also the chairman of the tender inviting and scrutiny committee for the Safe City Project funded by the Centre under the Nirbhaya Fund, to the CS.
The complaint stated that an officer, who was not related to the project, had contacted the two project consultants on November 7 (before the tender was uploaded) and sought details about the previous RFP that got cancelled, the status of the new RFP, the process followed for current RFP and other details.
In her letter to the CS on Saturday, Roopa stated: “I am the home secretary and there is no impersonation as falsely alleged in complaint of Nimbalkar. The file on the Safe City project was given to me by the additional chief secretary of the home department himself to study. While studying I found serious irregularities in the tender drafting.”
Goel, however, told STOI: “There is no question of handing her the file and authorising her to talk to the consulting agency.”
In his reply to Roopa, Goel stated: “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.”
Goel sought to know from Roopa as to what had prompted her to call the representatives of project consultants to seek confidential information from them on November 7 and wanted to know whether she had addressed any report to him or chief secretary or any other authority before calling the project consultants.
Claiming to be a whistleblower, Roopa said Nimbalkar must be removed as the Safe City Project head in view of the “said biased and unfair tender”.
“I am a public servant governed by rules. I do not want to react to social media posts, WhatsApp messages…” Nimbalkar said.

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Sagar Biswas

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