Following a series of disagreements that led to the Eleftheria Square revamp construction project coming to a halt Nicosia municipality and the project’s contractor Miltiades Neophytou finally ended their collaboration.
This will cost the municipality the amount of €530,000 to be paid to the contractor.
Disagreements concerned the financial aspect of the project as well as the time frame.
The project was put at risk when contractor Miltiades Neophytou requested an extension of 552 days and an additional compensation of €3 million, after the municipality had deducted €200,000 per month from the sum agreed, due to delays in completing the project, as per contract.
According to the initial agreement, the bridge connecting the city within the walls with Evagorou Street should have been completed in February 2013, but was postponed for a year later.
The remaining projects are also expected to be delivered in September, approximately 18 months after the agreed date, delays which Neophytou attributed to the municipality’s architect, Zaha Hadid.
Following the municipality’s discussion with the Audit Service it was therefore decided that the collaboration be terminated since disagreements caused delays but also the project was running the risk of losing EU funding. The project is expected to cost a total of about €30 million, with 85% funded by the European Regional Development Fund (Epta).
As soon as the collaboration officially ends with the signing of an agreement within the next few days, the municipality will announce tenders for the completion of the project.
The project is among the EU co-funded projects and had to be completed within the period 2007-2013. However, the EU has given a two-year extension to member states who implement such projects.
The tendering process is estimated to take about five months to complete with the new contractor to start work two months later. The project is estimated to be completed in about twelve months after that.
Miltiades Neophytou had asked for an extension until the summer to submit the first phase of the project, and an extension until summer 2015 for the completion of the whole project.
Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said completion of the project is necessary as it will significantly contribute towards economic development of the capital.