The Indian contractor on Monday hit back at the government over the alleged delay in completing a housing project in the capital Male by claiming that the government's failure to pay MVR278 million had delayed the handover of the flats.
The project to construct a total of 290 flats in two separate sites in Male was awarded to Indian construction giant TATA Housing which joined up with SG18 Developers Pvt. Ltd., under the banner of Apex Realty.
Though the agreement was signed in 2010, the project was delayed because of the pending resolution of certain unavoidable contractual issues.
But after a mutually agreed revision of the agreement TATA Housing had announced the project’s resumption in September last year.
Government had earlier said it was contemplating action against the contractor for the delay after it was set to be completed in February.
However, an official of Apex Realty on condition of anonymity insisted that the housing ministry's claims that flats had not been handed-over to its recipients due to the delay in completing the project was a "blatant lie."
"We've completed the 290 flats. We have the completion certificate given by the housing ministry. We haven't handed the flats over because the government is yet to pay us as per the agreement," the official said.
According to the official, the government had said it would arrange the MVR278 million by the end of June.
The official further said the company had met the deadline as stipulated in the contract.
"The government had agreed to pay us when the project is completed which was done in February. But we cannot handover the flats until we receive the payment," official said.
The official also insisted that the inflated price of the housing units was not down to a revision in the construction price.
"We have completed the project for the agreed price. We didn't bring any changes to the quoted cost of the project," official said.