By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Wednesday, June 6th, Rio Mayor Marcello Crivella revealed that City Hall would have to take over maintenance of Porto Maravilha in Centro, due to the concessionaire’s lack of funds to provide even basic services, like garbage collection and security.
“The PPP is in a difficult situation,” said the mayor, referring to the partnership between public and private sectors responsible for maintaining the five million square meter area.
In the run up to the Rio 2016 Games, the Porto Maravilha project revitalized Rio’s Port Zone, making the area a must-see tourist destination. However, Porto Novo, the concessionaire which manages the area, has claimed it has run out of money for services and infrastructure improvements.
The funds to support the area were meant to come from the Fundo de Investimentos Imobiliário (Real Estate Investment Fund) administered by Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF). But, in May, the CEF informed Rio City Hall that the fund was illiquid due to country’s deep economic recession and it would not be able to transfer cash to the municipality.
At an event at Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca on Wednesday, the Mayor told reporters that due to the fund’s illiquidity, City Hall would have to take over.
“If there are no resources to put in Porto Maravilha, it is clear that the municipality will have to collect garbage, change street lights, take care of security with the municipal guard,” explained the mayor. “But the ideal would be that the company contracted with the partnership had money from the fund.”
According to a Globo report, since the well-publicized opening of the revitalized Porto Maravilha and Rio’s Port Zone leading up to the Rio 2016 Games, the area is now showing signs of abandonment, with cracked pavement, exposed pipes, and deserted buildings.
Despite the reported decline, Mayor Crivella emphasized the importance of the CEF not giving up on the area. “[W]e need the investments to continue,” he said. “City Hall is a partner, we have presented various plans and projects. And I hope Caixa Econômica will come back and make that investment.”