The delayed projects [Archives:2008/1166/Opinion]

June 23 2008

Mohammed Al-Ariqi
Documents of projects and plans get circulated in the various government agencies, particularly those concerned with implementing service projects, which would be rather named 'delayed projects'. Such delayed implementation is not only limited to projects managed by the government, as the private sector and even individuals have hampered or halted projects.

Halting progress of project implementation adds extra burden on the national economy and development. We see many service facilities where construction is not finished, while foundation stones were laid in several other projects, which have been since then forgotten under construction for years.

It is regretful to see that progress of implementation is halted in numerous facilities, institutions and projects even if the construction process in any of them was about to be finished. Some of such projects are halted even after entering the furnishing phase, as the concerned officials and contractors draw their attention away from them and shift to other projects to do the same. They usually start the construction process and then stop it after a few months, thus abandoning such under-construction facilities to become havens for birds and cattle, or debris over time.

Remorsefully, the largest number of hampered projects exists in the rural areas where people are in an urgent need of such projects, due to play a greater role in encouraging community development and creating more job opportunities for idle youths of these areas. Hampered implementation or delayed progress is often noticed in projects related with the sectors of health, education, roads, water and electricity.

The government, which discussed such an issue more than once, has understood the primary reasons and causes responsible for the phenomenon of delayed or halted projects. Such reasons include inadequate funding to cover the implementation expenses, soaring prices of construction material and other problems related with contracts and agreements between relevant officials and contractors.

It is strange to see that great efforts are expended to finish some projects while other projects receive funds from international donors, thereby helping implementation of such projects progress at a good rhythm until they enter the phase of furniture and indoor equipment. In other cases, one can see that all the required equipment is provided and the new project is furnished well, but suddenly finds that operation-related problems emerge due to inadequate funding to cover the operating expenses.

The primary reason why implementation of many service projects is hampered or halted is symptomatic of mismanagement and preceding random planning. Most of such projects are handed over to contractors based on emotionalism, favoritism and nepotism, and as a result, these projects are found to be implemented in way contradicting the preceding real planning and specifications contained in the relevant contracts. Therefore, such projects don't often function as required.

Funds spent by the government on implementing such projects mounted up to billions of Yemeni Riyals while the targeted communities have not benefited from them.

The situation necessitates serious actions to be taken by the relevant authorities in the government to put a stop to the growing phenomenon of hampered or delayed projects that only waste public funds without providing real benefits to the targeted communities.

Source: Al-Thawra State-run Daily