Pistorius trial adjourns until May, state mauls forensic expertBrazil unveils $10 bln infrastructure budget for Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO,  (Reuters) – Brazilian authorities unveiled an infrastructure budget of 24.1 billion reais ($10.76 billion) for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 25 percent more than planned, as they try to reassure the world they can deliver facilities on time.

The budget covers 27 projects in urban development and public transport, including 8 billion reais for a newly added fourth metro line for Rio, Brazil’s congested second largest city, where getting around town is an ordeal.

Other initially envisaged projects were excluded, such as the upgrade to Rio’s international airport Galeao, which has been handed to private operators.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said the higher budget was due to the inclusion of new projects and inflation, which has blown up costs by 30 percent since Rio won hosting rights for the event in 2009.

Paes said 57 percent of the infrastructure costs would be paid for with public funds, coming from federal, state and municipal governments, and the rest would be private.

The total cost of Rio 2016 has risen to 36.7 billion reais, which does not include more than half of the 52 projects or facilities that will be used exclusively for the games and still require approval.

So far, only 24 projects have been budgeted at 5.6 billion reais. Additionally, the organising committee’s budget has risen 27 percent to 7 billion reais.

This operating budget was originally set to include up to 1.4 billion reais in public funds but officials changed their minds in response to public outcry over the high cost of stadiums and other projects required by the Olympics and 2014 World Cup, which kicks off in June.

SLOW PACE

The Rio 2016 organising committee estimated in 2009 that the games would cost 28.8 billion reais in total.

With just over two years to go, the International Olympic Committee and world sporting federations last week criticized the Brazilian government for the slow pace of work, and some asked about contingency plans should Brazil fail to deliver.

Construction work at the Deodoro Olympic Park, where eight events will take place, has yet to start, and the pace of progress at other venues is slow.

The terms of the tenders for Deodoro would be published on Thursday and work was scheduled to start in the second half of this year, Brazilian officials said.

“We have no room to spare with Deodoro. We cannot make a single mistake here. But there is still time to get it done,” Paes said at the budget announcement, flanked by Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo.

Competitors have criticised the filthy waters where sailing events will take place in Rio’s Guanabara Bay, yet the budget for infrastructure includes little work to clean up pollution in the bay.

A strike over pay at the Olympic Park in coastal Barra da Tijuca, one of the main venues, continued on Wednesday. Some employees returned to the construction site but union leaders convinced them not to work.

Mayor Paes said the facility, originally built for the 2007 Pan American Games, was still “on schedule”.

Brazil is racing to finish soccer stadiums in time for the World Cup, a prestigious event its leaders hoped would signify the South American nation’s emergence as a world power but now risks being an international embarrassment that could get worse if the Rio Olympics are similarly troubled.

Latest in Sports

default placeholder

St Kitts to host CPL final – report

(Trinidad Guardian) St Kitts will host the finals of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL). After much negotiations with the T&T government, CEO of CPLT20 Damian O’ Donohoe announced Sunday that it was unlikely that the finals would be played in  Trinidad.

The Guyana Amazon Warriors winged out for St Kitts yesterday ahead of the clash against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Thursday as the 2016 Hero CPL T20 Tournament bowls off.

Warriors depart, looking to return as heroes

The Guyana Amazon Warriors on Sunday winged out for St Kitts where they will begin their 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 title pursuit against the home team, the Patriots in game one set for Thursday at Warner Park.

Dynasty sealed- Captain of Sparta Boss outfit Devon Millington collecting the championship trophy from Sports Director Christopher Jones while members of the team and Banks DIH Limited look on.

Sparta still boss of the streets

The traditional Linden versus Georgetown rivalry provided the plot for the solidification of a dynasty as Sparta Boss retained their Guinness of the Streets National Title, defeating Lindeners Team 25 2-0 on Friday.

default placeholder

Slingerz edge Alpha United 1-0 in season finale

It was the changing of the guard as Slingerz FC were crowned the inaugural Guyana Football Federation (GFF) season champions, edging Alpha United 1-0 on Sunday at the Leonora Sports Facility.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi is turning his back on international football following Sunday’s Copa America defeat of Argentina by Chile.

Messi retires from internationals after Chile retain Copa

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey, (Reuters) – Lionel Messi blasted a penalty over the bar in what looks like being his last act in international football as Chile beat Argentina in a shootout to win the Copa America for the second year in a row on Sunday.

20160628italy28

Italy break jinx to end Spain’s long European reign

PARIS, (Reuters) – Italy broke a 22-year hoodoo to end Spain’s bid for a record third successive European title with a deserved 2-0 win over familiar foes in an absorbing last 16 clash between the two heavyweights at Euro 2016 yesterday.

Iceland’s victorious players celebrate with their fans after the final whistle.

Iceland stun England with 2-1 win at Euro2016

NICE, France, (Reuters) – Iceland pulled off one of the greatest shocks in European Championship history when they recovered to beat England 2-1 in their last 16 clash yesterday and will now face hosts France in the quarter-finals.

default placeholder

TKR will play tough cricket, warns McCullum

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Big-hitting New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum says Trinbago Knight Riders were bracing for tough opposition but planned to play an “attractive brand of cricket” when the Caribbean Premier League bowled off here tomorrow.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: