Row over who's picking up the bill stalls work on four public sewerage schemes
Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00
CONSTRUCTION work has yet to begin on four public sewerage schemes promised more than three years ago.
Despite companies lined up to build the plants in Dublin, Offaly and Kildare, work has not started because the Department of the Environment and local authorities cannot agree who will foot the bill.
The Department has also failed to approve a €29m plant in Letterkenny, three years after it was first announced.
Officials and the local authority are still in negotiations over how much the State should pay for the project -- a year after companies submitted their best price.
Construction work on three schemes already approved has not yet begun.
lA €30m scheme for Portrane in north Co Dublin was advertised in October 2007. Tenders were submitted in January 2009 and the project was only approved last month. It will serve 60,000 people.
lA scheme in Tullamore costing €43m was advertised in April 2007, tenders were submitted in October 2008 and the project was approved in October last year.
lThe €21m Kildare town scheme was advertised three years ago, tenders were submitted in September 2008 but construction works have not yet started. The project was approved in February.
The Kildare Town project was included in the Department of the Environment's Water Services Investment Programme 2005-2007, but not completed. It has since moved to the Department's 2007-2009 programme and was approved in February.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said yesterday there was an unacceptable time-lag between projects being advertised and work beginning on site, and that the Government would not spend €5.5bn this year on public capital projects as promised. No new projects were being advertised, and construction work had yet to start on projects already approved, a spokesman said.
The Government has promised to spend more than €15bn by 2012 on capital projects, but a CIF analysis of tenders issued shows that less than €45m worth of new public construction projects including schools, hospitals, housing and roads have been awarded this year.
If the trend continues, just €500m-€900m worth of new projects will be delivered in 2010 which will decimate the construction industry, it claims.