The Minister of Public Works and Communications of Paraguay, Arnoldo Wiens, reaffirmed today the Government's intention to continue with the public transport project for the metropolitan area of Asunción, the Metrobús, after the contractor left the works on Saturday.
Wiens said in an interview to a local television channel that, at the moment, the priority of the Executive is to recondition the area of works so that it can return to transit vehicle traffic, but that its portfolio "does not resign" to the project and that the cessation of work will be temporary.
However, he explained that the resumption of the works "will take an important time" since the project is going to undergo a "deep analysis process".
The Portuguese construction company Mota Engil withdrew the machinery and left the works at dawn on Saturday after failing to reach an agreement with the Government on an extension of deadlines and financial issues.
For its part, the Public Works head announced that it will take "legal and financial measures" against the company for breach of contract and asked the Comptroller General of the State to investigate the case so that "justice is done" and punish those responsible of this "nonsense".
The company warned the government in August, a few days after it came to power, of a possible suspension of work if it failed to extend the deadline for the first two sections of the Metrobus, scheduled for this December, unable to finish the works on the indicated date.
The Executive reacted by creating a crisis table to negotiate with the construction company and solve the problem, and began an audit to gather "objective information" about the project.
The works of the Metrobus, which began in 2017, have generated controversy since its inception for the economic damage caused to the merchants and residents of the affected areas, as well as for the inconveniences it generates for the traffic of the city.
He also received complaints about cost overruns, irregularities in the bidding process and technical deficiencies in the project.
The project, designed during the Government of Fernando Lugo (2008-2012), envisaged the creation of a line of fast and high-capacity buses that would circulate through exclusive lanes, to connect several cities of the Great Asunción with the center of the capital.