Paris, Dec 4 (AFP) The administrative body for the greater Paris region voted on Wednesday to reject the bids to build the aquatic centre for the 2024 Olympics because they are too expensive.
"The offers are of undeniable architectural quality, but they are all far from the financial objectives we have set for ourselves," said Patrick Ollier, the president of the Metropole du Grand Paris (MGP), which includes Paris and 130 surrounding municipalities, told a council meeting.
Three French companies, Bouygues, Vinci and Opalia have made proposals for a facility that will host water polo and diving competitions. Swimming events will be held in a temporary pool next door.
"We have until March, April at the latest to take a final decision," he said adding that they remained "strictly on schedule", even if the initial timetable called for the contract to be awarded in mid-November 2019.
The decision to extend the negotiating deadline was in line with the recommendations of a steering committee which also includes the French government, the Games organising committee and the French Swimming Federation.
Ollier said after the meeting that "the objectives are being refined".
According to a source, the offers are "at least" 25-30 percent above a provisional budget of 113 million euros, including the construction of the aquatic centre in Saint-Denis, and a pedestrian bridge over a motorway to the Stade de France.
The contract would include designing and constructing the facility and operating it for 15-20 years after the Games in a district which is short of such amenities.
A councillor from Paris, Yves Contassot, warned that "The Olympics never respect the bid prices" saying that contractors deliberately underbid to win contracts. (AFP)
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