Bogotá Mayor Claudia López has issued a warning against the Chinese consortium made up of the China Harbor Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) and Xi’an Metro Company Limited regarding the delays in designs for the Metro de Bogotá, saying that they have until May 5 to deliver the remaining designs for the train line.
López issued the statement after the consortium had exceeded the deadline for the initial design’s submission on March 31, refusing to accept the reasoning of the consortium that the delay was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and demanding that they submit the designs by May 5 or suffer daily fines until the plans are turned in.
“On March 30, the deadline for the Line 1 Metro Consortium to deliver studies and final designs for Metro Line 1 expired, but they did not do so. The Inspectorate recommends giving it until May 5. We accept the proposal, but if they fail to comply again we will start the sanction and fine process,” she said in a tweet.
El 30 de marzo venció plazo de Consorcio Metro Línea1 para entregar estudios y diseños definitivos de Línea1 del Metro, pero no lo hicieron. Interventoría recomienda darle plazo hasta 5 de mayo. Acogemos propuesta, pero si incumplen de nuevo iniciaremos proceso de sanción y multa pic.twitter.com/dUTIvmJupi
— Claudia López Hernández (@ClaudiaLopez) April 4, 2023
Leonidas Narváez, the manager of the Bogotá Metro Company, clarified that the auditing company in charge of inspecting the designs has already given 21% of the designs a “No Objection” indicator and that the consortium agreed to the May 5 deadline in order to get the designs in and submitted.
“The inspectorate has informed us that the established term was not met; that not all the products (more than 300) that Metro Linea 1 has to deliver have the ‘No Objection’ [from the audit] and they have recommended us, as agreed in the contract, that we give it a cure period of one month that expires on the 5th of May. The Metro de Bogotá Company has decided to accept the recommendation of the audit but I want to say it with all the letters,” he said.
“If on May 5 the Metro Linea 1 consortium fails to comply again, we will initiate a sanction and fine process for non-compliance. Every day that it is late in delivering the final studies and designs with the ‘No Objection’ on the part of the audit, the consortium will be subject to a daily fine [equivalent] of 50 minimum wages as of May 6,” the man continued.
The building of the Metro Linea 1in Bogotá has been hampered by fighting between López and President Gustavo Petro as the two clashed earlier this year on whether the Metro line should be elevated or underground, with Petro’s administration demanding changes on the project and López holding firm against it.
The multi-billion peso project is being handled by CHEC, which has had a history of bribery accusations in countries to a point where it has been blacklisted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and Xi’an Metro Company Limited, who had a scandal in 2017 over the use of lower-quality cables for a metro line in China.