LUSA 07/10/2024

Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Inhabitants complain of late compensation from Lisbon Metro Co.

Lisbon, July 9, 2024 (Lusa) — Residents of Travessa do Pasteleiro, in Lisbon's Madragoa neighbourhood, who were forced to vacate their homes due to the expansion of the Metropolitano de Lisboa network, complained on Tuesday about the lack of compensation payment to which they are entitled.

"As of today, 9 July, almost two months after the date of the addendum to the compensation agreement, Metropolitano de Lisboa has not honoured its commitment and responsibilities and has still not paid any compensation to the affected residents," said Carla Martins, representing a group of residents of Travessa do Pasteleiro, in the parish of Estrela.

The resident was speaking at the Lisbon Municipal Assembly meeting, during the public speaking period, asking the municipal deputies to "act to urgently resolve this shameful situation" related to the Lisbon Metro works, namely the creation of the Circular Line, which will connect Rato station to Cais do Sodré.

The Lusa news agency asked the Metropolitano de Lisboa (ML) company about the failure to pay compensation to residents, and is still awaiting a response.

Carla Martins told the municipal deputies that at the beginning of 2023, and for an expected period of 16 months, the residents of Nos. 26 to 34 of Travessa do Pasteleiro had to vacate their homes for safety reasons to carry out the works and a compensation agreement was reached with Metropolitano for the damage caused.

"Through this agreement, the company has undertaken to return the units in the same condition as they were received by 16 May 2024. In the event of non-return for reasons attributable to the company, it would be obliged to pay an additional amount of compensation for each day of delay," said the resident, noting that on 19 March, she was assured that the work would be carried out "on schedule".

However, on 11 May, "a few days before" the scheduled return date, the company reported "an estimated delay of four and a half months", she said.

Carla Martins said that the Metro informed the residents that "for technical reasons related to the ongoing excavation work at Santos station, it is necessary to extend the period of temporary occupation until 30 September 2024" and that, for this reason, it would pay the additional amount of compensation in accordance with the agreement, by signing the corresponding addendum, which was sent on 15 May.

Considering the "quite serious and even scandalous" case, the resident accused the public company ML of "abuse of power, disregard and disrespect for citizens".

"In addition to being forced out of their homes for more than a year and a half, the residents are still paying out of pocket for the expenses resulting from the delays in returning their flats," Carla Martins stressed, demanding immediate payment of the compensation owed and, in addition, compensation for moral damages.

On 13 May, in a written reply to Lusa, ML indicated that the structural reinforcement work on the buildings located on Travessa do Pasteleiro, supported by the transport company, "has been completed", but "for technical reasons", the properties "cannot yet be used permanently", extending the occupation period "until 30 September 2024".

According to the company, the need for temporary occupation of the properties arose after "in-depth technical surveys" in the parish of Estrela, Travessa do Pasteleiro and Avenida D. Carlos I, totalling 32 units.

In addition to the works, the public transport company's costs include compensation to landlords, residents, and owners and "the rehousing of residents for the period of occupation."

With a total planned investment of €331.4 million, the Circular Line will connect Rato station to Cais do Sodré, extending the network by another two kilometres, and is scheduled to open in 2025.