Editorial from Pagina Siete, pictures from the internet when searching for poor condition roads in Bolivia:
A few days ago we commented in this same space that government inefficiency is increasingly evident. The example used was that of the creation of the social security manager that, after nine years, has not yet been launched.
Now we can cite examples, much more worrying, among others the way how roads are built in the country. Apart from exorbitant prices, there is also evidence of poor efficiency in meeting deadlines.
Página Siete recalled a few days ago that the Santa Bárbara-Caranavi-Quiquibey highway, which should be connected with roads that integrate the Beni and Pando regions, has been delayed for five years. The work, consisting of paving the 184 kilometers involved in that line, should have been delivered in 2014. The contracted company, Árbol, financed by a Venezuelan loan, abandoned the works without complying with the provisions and its executives were not prosecuted judicially. Nor was a report of the state in which Árbol left the works exhibited to the public.
The initial cost was of 257 million dollars, but the company Royal was later hired, for another 68.3 million dollars, and before the negligence of this one, the authorities are now considering the rescission of the contract. If this were to happen, the work would have to be awarded to a third company. It is outrageous.
There are many other examples that show the excessive cost and poor construction of roads in Bolivia, a task in charge of the ABC. One can mention the double track to Oruro that, shortly after its inauguration, was affected by hundreds of holes, “patched” then with tar.
But the situation of the Rurrenabaque-Riberalta road is much worse. The opposition senator Yerko Núñez reported that the works on the road are constantly interrupted by the China Railway Company, which was awarded the work in 579 million dollars. Until this year, when the route should be completed, only 15% of the total has been advanced, according to opponents’ estimates.
We can mention a fourth example: the company Corsán Corviam left the country in 2017 after only having completed 25% of the Ixiamas-San Buenaventura road and pocketed 49 million dollars. As there were no appropriate letters of guarantee systems, their executives could leave the country without problems.
All this shows that although we have made progress in road integration, we have not taken advantage of the high incomes to make roads of good quality and free of contracts with surcharges and badly managed.