Budapest, September 30 (MTI) – Budapest’s Municipal Council will no longer assume any responsibility for the delay in the third metro line’s upgrade, Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós said on Friday.
Tarlós told a press conference that he will turn to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over the “problems in communication” and statements made by government office chief János Lázár on Thursday, of which he said “nothing was true”.
Lázár said on Thursday that the Public Procurements Committee had halted a tender for procuring supplementary buses that would be in operation during the metro line upgrade, because the tender invitation put out by the Budapest council was “distorting competition by excessively limiting potential bidders”. Lázár said a new, corrected public procurement tender must be prepared. He also added that the refurbishment project could not “realistically” start before next summer.
In his response, Tarlós said that the city had published all tenders, but it has not received the necessary financing from the central budget. He noted that the government had made a commitment to ensure the funds, but added that “the money is not yet in our coffers”.
The opposition Socialists slammed Tarlós for his “inability to make progress” concerning the M3 project. Socialist council member Csaba Horváth said that “nobody thinks” that the project would be completed by 2019, as originally planned, since work has not even started. He also suggested that the 140 billion forints (EUR 452m) budgeted for the scheme would not be “anywhere near” the actual cost.