Government silent over wireless scam

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Manipur Police supplied with banned Chinese radio sets

By Paojel Chaoba

IMPHAL | Dec 30 : Manipur police department has been supplied with Chinese made communication devices which are currently banned in India. As part of the police modernization effort, the Ministry of Home Affairs had sanctioned an amount of Rs 3 crore for procuring wireless sets for the Manipur police department. The grant was given for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15. The sanction was in order to procure 150 numbers of hand-held wireless sets, 175 mobile sets for police vehicles and 12 numbers of repeaters (signal amplifiers for radio sets).

The supply order was specified for each device to have Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) technology and having a 2 slot Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) with a 12.5 Khz bandwidth. The technology is one of the latest in wireless communication and provides a clear digital sound over the radio set. The DMR manufacturing has a protocol and every manufacturer using this technology should first be approved by the European Telecom Standard Institute (ETSI).

The supply order was floated and a company named Applied Telecommunication (APCOM), an Indian company got the order. The SP( Telecom and Administration) Sh Dwijamani was the consignee then and also the chairman of the line committee whose mandate was to check if the specifications of the ordered wireless sets match the ones supplied. The IG ( Administration ) was C Doungel and the amount of Rs. 3 crore was paid to the company and the wireless sets were procured in 2015. The Home minister was G Gaikhangam then.

An initial test was conducted for the supplied equipment and it was found that the company making the hand held wireless set was not APCOM but a company called HYTERA. The 150 numbers of hand held sets was to have a specification of P-318 but had a specification of PD-788 also which is totally different. The other 175 numbers of mobile sets for vehicles was also made by HYTERA company.

Further, the 12 number of Repeaters (signal amplifiers) were also found to be made by a company called GWANGJAO, a Chinese company and not by APCOM. The requisite of 2 slot TDMA having 12.5 Khz and a 16 colour code which was to have a good digital sound was the specified order for the repeaters. Instead the supplied material was completely different and found to be sub-standard. The GWANGJAO repeaters operated on 4 slots and on 6.25 Khz Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA)- this technology is different from TDMA and has one colour code only. This 4 slot technology makes communication nearly inaudible over the radio sets as transmission data gets lost over time. Moreover, the Ministry of Communication does not give license for using the four slot frequency spectrum technology in India. The police and the army, the para-military uses only the licensed 2 slot frequency wireless sets. At present, Manipur police department is using this un-licensed product, a source confirmed.

This shows that a manipulation was perpetrated in the procurement process of the wireless equipment leading to a loss of 3 crore to the state exchequer. The matter was probed by a special investigation team comprising of additional DGP Anandprakash, IAS C Arthur and IGP (Adm) Dr S Ibocha Singh in August last. The inquiry report was handed over to the Chief Minister in the same month.

Now, N Biren Singh holding the Home portfolio has kept the inquiry report in cold storage since then. The question asked from relevant quarters is why the persons who are behind this multi-crore scam remains protected and no relevant action is taken up against the corrupted individuals involved in this scam. . An amount of Rs 3 crore has been mis-utilized leading to a complete chaos in wireless communication and a hindrance in maintaining law and order. Further in the process, creating a trust deficit among the police personnel of the State. It may be mentioned that N Biren Singh in a press conference held on June 7 regarding the belt scam had stated “ Quality can never be compromised since the police and paramilitary forces are fighting militants and hardened criminals.”


Source: Imphal Free Press

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