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One Month From World Cup Kickoff, Only Half of the Work is Ready

05/14/2014 - 09h05

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FROM SÃO PAULO

29 days ahead of the World Cup, the country was able to deliver less than half of what was promised for the World Cup.

From the 167 announced work interventions, only 68 are ready, representing 41%. Other 88 (53%) are still incomplete and will be delivered after the World Cup event.

Eleven construction works were abandoned and will not get off the ground.

In the past two weeks, Folha listed and checked the progress of all the projects that are part of the so-called "responsibility matrix", a document listing what Brazil intended to do for the World Cup.

The first version is from 2010 and underwent changes later.

Editoria de Arte/Folhapress

The sector that would have benefited the most, at the time, was urban mobility in order to help tourists getting around in host cities. But now, on the eve of the World Cup, only 10% of the works are completed - most are not.

Bureaucracy and design changes are the most frequent justifications from governments to explain the situation.

The lack of mobility projects is a common complaint of the population and was the main motivation of last year's protests.

Tourists going to Cuiaba, for example, will not have the LRV (Light Rail Vehicle), supposed to connect the airport to downtown.

Problems with licensing and expropriation were responsible for the delay.

The same thing happened in Manaus, where they England, Italy, Portugal and USA will play.

In Curitiba, Minister Gilberto Carvalho (General Secretariat of the Presidency) said on Tuesday (13) that the delay in the World Cup work is "frustrating", but the main event projects will be delivered.

President Dilma, on the other hand, said that stadiums and airports are being taken cared of. "I think the World Cup in Brazil has all the conditions to be a success," but she declined to comment on the status of the promised works that will not be ready in time.

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The stadiums hosting the games, Fifa's repeated target of criticism regarding deadlines, are also part of the delay.

Three of the 12 still require adjustments. Itaquerão (SP) does not have all the screens and V.I.P areas are being finalized; Arena da Baixada (Curitiba) was not even delivered yet; Arena Pantanal (Cuiaba) has not installed all the chairs.

Among host cities, Curitiba is the one, with proportionally more construction work incomplete. Mostly is in regard to transportation, as with a fast bus corridor running between the airport and the city; there were delays in payments and the companies terminated the contracts supposed to perform the work.

In São Paulo, most works were completed. But the road access to Itaquerão is not ready yet, where the World Cup opening will take place, in June 12. Everything will be ready by then, according to the government.

At airports, private enterprise concession in Guarulhos, Viracopos and Brasilia terminals helped the government to move further extensions. Still, Viracopos did not meet the deadline for conclusion.

Guarulhos delivered the new terminal, but not in time to be used by most tourists arriving in this city - due to time constrains, most airlines will continue to use old terminals.

Contributions from BRASILIA, RECIFE, RIO, CAMPINAS, FORTALEZA, CURITIBA, SALVADOR, MANAUS AND BELO HORIZONTE

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

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