Environmentalists and Coparmex in the Riviera Maya proposed that the Mayan Train in its section 5 be replaced by a light rail or Metrobús.
The controversy over the construction of section 5 of the Mayan Train, which will run from Tulum to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, continues, however, the degradation of the virgin forest and with it of the cenotes and underground rivers warn environmentalists and ejidatarios for the environmental impact of construction.
It should be noted that so far the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) has not reported what the official route of this section will be.
In order to provide options to the federal government and Fonatur, groups of environmental defenders, who do not reject the incursion of this transportation system, but the way in which it is carried out, have provided several options to avoid the damage that a work like this threat, that is, switch to an electric light rail or a Metrobus.
In an interview with Forbes México, Guillermo DChristy, a member of the Cenotes Urbanos association, raised the need for the government to provide the Environmental Impact Statement of the Mayan Train and, if necessary, return to the original line that proposed an elevated viaduct over the federal highway. 307 that goes from Tulum to Playa del Carmen.
According to DChristy, having a light rail instead of a larger railway would open the possibility of having a greater number of stations and thus benefit a greater number of inhabitants of the area with public transport.
“The intention is that the train that ran parallel to the federal highway would be a light rail, even that it could have a greater number of stations because that way the population could really use it. With the current layout, if a worker needs to move with the train, he will have to take a transport, he will have to waste 10 or 15 minutes to get to the train station and take it, ”explained the environmentalist.
At the beginning of this year and due to the constant delays generated in this emblematic work of the six-year term, the Fonatur, directed by Javier May, announced a new section of section 5 of the Mayan Train due to the disagreement of the hoteliers and inhabitants of Playa del Carmen.
In order to finish the work on time, that is, by the end of 2023, the government determined that section 5 will now run at ground level through the jungle area that runs parallel to that federal highway.
“The proposal would be that before anything else they stop and reconsider the environmental damage and reconsider returning to the original line. We are not against the train, what we are against is how the train is made. A transition to light rail could be made, a suburban train that runs parallel to the highway to Tulum without any problem, ”he pointed out.
“Yes, there can be a train, but here the issue is how it is being done and the impact it is generating,” he said.
According to mapping carried out by the association The Great Mayan Aquifer In Tulum alone there are at least 2,000 kilometers of subterranean passages flooded with characteristics of karstic terrain.
The Peninsula is characterized by having a soil with these conditions, that is, this type of terrain is made up mainly of compact rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum, among other minerals soluble in water, and that makes it unstable, with movement.
Between Playa del Carmen and Tulum there is a record of at least 1,600 kilometers of flooded caves and although there is no precise list of cenotes, The Great Mayan Aquifer estimates that there may be more than 10,000 in Quintana Roo and Yucatan alone.
Another proposal comes from the Environmental Commission of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic in the Riviera Maya, which has suggested that a tramway or a rapid transit bus (BTR) run in this section in a confined lane, similar to the Mexico City Metrobus.
In an interview granted to La Jornada Maya, Otto Von Bertrab, president of the Coparmex commission in Quintana Roo, pointed out that the Mayan Train project in the section from Tulum to Playa del Carmen has not proven to be a tourist alternative since the Stations are far from urban centers.
Fonatur fails to report progress in a weekly report
For two weeks, when after the electoral ban due to the mandate revocation consultation, progress in infrastructure works was again promoted, the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) has avoided reporting on the works carried out in section 5 of the Mayan Train.
Similarly, it has failed to report on the progress in sections 6 and 7 that the Mexican Army has been in charge of for a month after completing the construction of the AIFA, except for the report on its arrival in the area.
Yesterday, in the weekly report, the federal agency stated that in section 1, which comprises 228 kilometers and runs from Palenque, Chiapas, to Escarcega in Campeche, the foundations of the elevated viaduct columns have begun.
In section 2 which runs from Escarcega to Calkiní in 222 kilometers, cross-drainage works have begun as well as vehicular crossings and the installation of rails.
In section 3 from Calkiní to Izamal of 159 kilometers, progress is being made in the construction of vehicular crossings and the train, while in section 4 from Izamal to Cancún, the ballast and 1,200 sleepers are already being installed along 2 kilometers.
The ballast installed in sections 3 and 4 is 30 centimeters thick and reaches the work fronts from the port of Progreso, in Yucatan.