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Posted On: 10 November 2009 05:21 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

One in three Ashghal projects delayed

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The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has admitted to not being able to complete more than 32 percent of the planned infrastructure projects. The contracting companies that were awarded the various projects encountered a number of problems. For instance, some of them took up work beyond their capacity, while others suffered because building material became expensive. The escalating cost of building materials led to the failure of contractors to manage their respective projects with the payments they received in instalments from the PWA. Moreover, the designs of some projects were changed very late, almost at the time a project was to be implemented, which again made the contractors suffer. This was disclosed by the Acting General Manager of Ashghal, Nasser Al Moulvi, to Al Sharq in a detailed interview yesterday. Speaking about the delay in projects, Al Moulvi said: “We should also take some blame with the contracting companies. It is not entirely their fault.” When told that it is generally believed that Ashghal soft-pedals on the issue of erring contractors and does not act tough, he said the contracting companies, on the contrary, accused “us of being tough with them.” “As a matter of policy we do not believe in penalising contractors unless driven to the wall because our focus is on seeing a project completed without compromising on quality,” said the official. Asked about the German company and the jeopardized February 22 Road project, he said only 30 percent of the work was remaining and work will resume by the year-end. Asked if the dispute with the company was over QR850m, Al Moulvi said the amount was close to it, and in reply to another question if the German firm would be awarded any other contract, he quipped: “No, not at all. The question does not arise.”