By Arab News
An SR62 billion ($16.5 billion) metro railway project planned for Makkah (Mecca) is progressing well and there is no delay, said Ali Abdelfattah, chief executive-designate of the Makkah’s Mass Rail Transit (MMRT).
Earlier Reuters quoted him as saying that the project had been delayed so that its financing can be restructured.
He reportedly told a construction industry conference in Dubai: “The reason for the delay is some restructuring financially.”
He said that while work on privately funded schemes was largely unaffected in Saudi Arabia, all government-funded projects were going through some sort of restructuring or replanning.
New budgeting constraints have caused changes to the Makkah plan such as modifications to the design of the metro stations, Abdelfattah said.
Later, speaking to Al Arabiya television, Abdelfattah said: “Of course I deny completely what was said and all that was written and the hashtags and the WhatsApp, none of which is correct.” He added: “My remarks were recorded at the conference and this was a technical conference, not a political conference.”
Abdelfattah didn’t comment further when contacted by Reuters.