Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saca failes to fulfill his promises about the initiation of the Longitudinal del Norte

December 2008 was the president Saca's announced starting date for the construction of the motorway Longitudinal del Norte. The new executive director of Fomilenio, Josè Àngel Quiròs, on the other hand does not predict the project beginning until 2009.

Today, right after the change of executive director of Fomilenio, it looks like Saca`s words cannot become reality. Fomilenio is the group in charge of implementing the 461 million dollars donatedby the US-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), directed to the creation of economic growth in the Northern part of the country. After a closer look at the timetable, Fomilenio has now proposed an unspecified date in 2009 for the initiation of the project.

According to the new director Josè Àngel Quiròs, the plan for the first stretch of the giant construction will not be ready until the end of 2008. Quiròs then estimates that the real construction will not begin until at least three months later.

This delay is due to the fact that there is a lot of preparational work to do for the firm which eventually signs the contract. The firm will need employees, machines, land, installation of plants, etc., says Quiròs.

In April 2008, when Saca announced the start of the project, members from Fomilenio already anticipated the failure of the announced start date since the design of the motorway was not even finished. For starters, the company Parsons Brinckerhoff Internaciònal was delayed about six months in delivering the design.

This delay and the danger of delay in executing the construction were raised by members of CND and Fomilenio. They were fully aware of the fact that money which was not being executed during the five years of the contract with MCC could be lost. Previous delays in the execution of the funds were mainly what caused the removal of the former director Llort. Under his direction, only 30% of the amount projected to have been implemented during the first year had been completed.

Very few members of the CND and the Fomilenio, including Josè Àngel Quiròs, attended the announcement by Saca in April this year.

Quiròs is now temporarily in charge of Fomilenio for the last 3 months of 2008. His name will eventually be evaluated, among other candidates, in the decision of a permanent director.

Both Quiròs and the MCC residential director in El Salvador, Kenny Miller, are confident that the process will accelerate from now on and that they will reach the goals set forth. The only eventual obstacle Quiròs can identity is possible problems with interinstitutional coordination after the 2009 elections. He says such challenges will be met in a professional, technical, and independent way, whether there is another party in government or not.

Link to article: http://www.elfaro.net/secciones/Noticias/20081013/noticias1_20081013.asp#

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