Construction hasn’t even begun and Colombia’s comptroller is already warning Bogota‘s metro lost funds due to planning errors and faulty contracts.
According to the Comptroller General’s Office, former Mayor Enrique Peñalosa ordered an environmental impact study in 2017 that had already been carried out by his predecessor Gustavo Petro in 2014, Forbes Colombia reported on Tuesday.
Because Peñalosa entirely ignored studies carried out by his predecessor, they were excluded from the total cost of the project to construct a metro 77 years after its inception.
Peñalosa vs Petro clash revisited
Petro and Peñalosa have clashed on multiple occasions after the latter opted for an above-ground metro while his predecessor was preparing an underground metro.
Because Peñalosa additionally failed to align his metro plan with the city’s urban development plan, Bogota’s city hall may have to incur in the unplanned acquisition of plots, according to W Radio.
Last but not least, the metro development plan established a fixed cost for the construction of possible detours, which could lead to extra expenses that would have to be approved every time a cost occurs if development does not go exactly as planned by Peñalosa.
Bad start for Lopez
The Comptroller General’s warnings are a major disappointment for incoming Mayor Claudia Lopez, who took office exactly a week ago.
Lopez said to be “concerned” about the warnings and vowed to “attend the warnings and see how we can resolve them to fix whatever error that may have been made in the past.”
The Comptroller General’s warnings are the first that followed the concession of the project to a controversial Chinese construction consortium in October last year.
The concession that was surprisingly announced triggered immediate investigations by both Bogota’s comptroller and the Comptroller General’s Office because no watchdog entity was present at the signing.
Politicians have promised Bogota a metro system on countless occasions since 1942, but this time “it’s not just talking. Here begins the real metro longed for by the city for decades, for decades,” according to President Ivan Duque
Bogota’s latest attempt to construct a metro is set to cost $4.3 billion with $480 million of that coming from a loan from the European Investment Bank.