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    Tram 94 extension: Brussels Region ordered to pay what it owes

    © Belga

    The project to extend the 94 tramline between Wiener Square in Boitsfort and Roodebeek metro station in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert has been the subject of a court case.

    The bone of contention is a million-euro bill which the Region owes Sibelga, the company that runs underground gas conduits, l’Echo reported on Thursday.

    The bill is for work done on the extension project. Each party blames the other for the collapse of trenches following water seepage from the drainage system, which was itself damaged by tree roots.

    Brussels refused to pay the amount owed to Sibelga, contending that it had already spent a similar sum to repair the trenches and that the two amounts should cancel out each other.

    In 2017, a first judge ordered the Region to pay the million-euro sum, while entertaining its counterclaim. He also ordered Sibelga to pay 994,000 euros to the Region, noting that the amounts of the two fines should, in fact, compensate each other.

    Sibelga appealed and, finally, the court ruled that the bill issued by Sibelga was due without question. The judges added that the Region had been unable to prove that all the expenses incurred by Beliris – the joint venture between the federal and regional governments that is in charge of beautification and infrastructural enhancement projects in Brussels – were caused by defects for which Sibelga was solely responsible.

    Finally, it appeared from the case that the regional public transport company, STIB, should have lodged a deposit that the Region would then have used to cover the costs of the repairs in question.

    The judges ordered the deliberations reopened to ascertain why that was not done.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times