February 9, 2015 / 3:31 PM / 3 years ago

Soccer-Brazil's Cuiaba to review 'scandalous' tram projects

SAO PAULO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The unfinished tram service which was supposed to be the centrepiece of Cuiaba's World Cup spending is to be audited and reviewed in a bid to get it operational, the Mato Grosso state government said on Monday.

"It's not possible to keep building the way we've been doing," state secretary of strategic planning Gustavo de Oliveira said in announcing a task force to investigate the stalled project.

"We need to conclude this in an acceptable manner."

The proposed tram has no strategic planning, is riven with "irregularities" and is running out of money, officials said.

State governor Pedro Taques last week called the project "the biggest scandal in the history of this state."

Federal and state authorities promised to build two tram lines totalling 22 kilometres in time for the World Cup and it ordered 40 trains, at least 29 of which were delivered.

The overall budget was eventually set at 1.58 billion reais ($566 million) and although more than half of that has been spent only 30 percent of the project has been completed, local media reported.

De Oliveira last month closed Cuiaba's Arena Pantanal for emergency repairs less than nine months after it opened. Parts of the stadium were unsafe, with water leaking through the ceiling and faulty electrics. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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