SWC 2014 hangover continues

SWC 2014
SWC 2014

Rio De Janiero - The construction of a light rail line in Brazil's western city of Cuiaba that was to have been ready for last year's World Cup has been stalled, with state officials saying more money is needed to finish it.

In a report, the state auditor said at least $110 million will be needed for work to continue. The overall cost was originally placed at about $550 million, but this figure has now risen to at least $660 million.

Some media reports suggest only 30 percent of the project has been completed.

Eduardo Chiletto, the state official in charge of coordinating the project, promised to speed the work.

"We are going to sit down with every contractor, every consortium, to negotiate the financial terms and the building schedule," Chiletto said in a statement Tuesday on the state government website.

He did not say when the 22-kilometer system, which involves two separate lines, would be running.

Gustavo de Oliveira, the state secretary for strategic planning, said the state of Mato Grosso lacked the funds.

"The state doesn't have the needed resources readily available to be able to finish the project," Oliveira said. "This is another problem that has to be solved."

A $230 million stadium built in Cuiaba for the World Cup was closed last month for emergency repairs, which included water leaks and electrical problems. The stadium held four World Cup games.

Brazil spent about $15 billion to stage the World Cup. Building or remodeling 12 stadiums alone cost at $3 billion, more than 90 percent public money.

The Brazilian government was widely criticized for chaotic planning for the World Cup, and for building at least four "white elephants," one of which is in Cuiaba.

Brazil, which is also spending $15 billion on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has seen its economy slow in recent years. Growth is sluggish, with the government raising taxes and cutting services to meet shortfalls in revenue.

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