Budapest, June 11 (MTI) – The metro cars that have arrived under a Russian procurement contract are refurbished, not new, Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós told a press conference on Friday, dismissing earlier reports about foul play in the tendering process.
The contract involving the delivery of Russian metro carriages signed on May 5 has come under fire as according to press reports the carriages delivered were new while the contract specified the procurement of refurbished cars. The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) filed charges suspecting abuse of office and a restriction of competition in the 69 billion forint (EUR 220m) tender.
Critics argued that the supplier, the Russian Metrowagonmash, would not have come out as a winner had the tender been for refurbished cars.
Tarlós said a majority of the components of the cars delivered are new, though not all of them, but the cars “did not come from unsalable stocks”. There is every reason to call these cars refurbished, he added.
Authorities said there had been no violation of the laws in connection with the metro car procurement, Tarlós said.
Budapest should be happy that the problem of the metro carriages is resolved and “we should not be complaining that we got something nicer and better than expected,” he said.
Tarlós admitted that there will be a delay in the reconstruction work on the third metro line which will range between 45 days and six months.
The renovation was originally scheduled to start in November and last until the summer of 2019.