A lack of bidders for construction projects in northeast Japan is hampering efforts to rebuild areas devastated by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The land and transport ministry has decided to take immediate measures to address the situation.
Repair of damaged roads and sewage systems is underway in the devastated areas. But labor costs are skyrocketing due to a shortage of workers. Local construction firms remain reluctant to bid in auctions since last fall for fear of losing money.
In December, 45 percent of infrastructure auctions in Miyagi Prefecture and 51 percent in Fukushima failed to find winners. In Iwate, 16 percent of all construction auctions failed.
To address the situation, the land and transport ministry says it will adjust the fees for construction projects commissioned by local governments, in response to rising labor costs in the devastated areas.
Currently, only local companies are allowed to participate in reconstruction auctions. But the ministry says it will allow firms from outside the disaster-affected areas to join hands with local partners so they can jointly bid for such projects.
The ministry will also allow a chief construction manager to concurrently serve as chief construction manager of other projects.
These measures will come into effect by the end of February.
Thursday, February 09, 2012 13:01 +0900 (JST)