Monday, the President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the Maya Train project will move forward and the Playa del Carmen to Tulum route will go on ahead as planned. He hopes that the train project will serve as both a tourist attraction and connect passengers from the new Tulum airport to the rest of the Rivera Maya.
From the start, the idea has been met with resistance particularly from environmentalist groups. They argue that the project would destroy the natural habitat in the region. The president mentioned that he was well aware of the potential negative effects to the environment from the start. However, he emphatically mentioned that his administration is not against the environment. In fact, he referenced past actions within his political career to validate that he is in fact a pro environment president.
The President Hopes To Open The Train Route Almost Simultaneously With The Tulum Airport
The President has tasked the armed forces with building both the Tulum Airport, and the Maya Train project. This decision has also been mired in controversy but the project is set to go on as planned. In fact, the president sent a clear message to the project managers, urging them to finish quickly.
In his press conference the president mentioned, “They have the task of building 550 kilometers, (341 miles) of railroad, and the Tulum international airport. They have to finish by December of next year. I’m going to be visiting the entire Maya train route on a monthly basis, to make sure that we are staying on track”
López Obrador Thinks Protests Against The Train Project Are Just Political Attacks
Apart from talking about the progress that he wants to see made on the project, the president also took time to send a message to his adversaries. He put up a video of landowners in the region that support the Maya train project. While also mentioning that the Tulum area has been exploited for commercial gains for years. Yet, environmentalists groups, in his view, turned a blind eye to those projects. The persecution of his own project is politically oriented. Again, this according to himself. In fact, he went as far as to say that some of the environmentalist groups opposing the project were backed by the US government.
The president mentioned, “They are not really worried about the plot of land (that is being taken for the train), they are not worried about the environment, or the wildlife. This is a political issue with outside interests. Some of the people opposing the project haven’t even been to the local communities.”
According To The President Part of The Maya Train Will Be Fully Electric
After the rant against his political adversaries, president López Obrador went back to talking about the train itself and mentioned will be fully electric in parts of the track. He also spoke about the different ecotourism spots that the train would potentially grant access to. Spots which currently don’t typically receive a steady flow of tourists due, in large part to their remote location. President López Obrador explained what the final product would look like saying,
“There are two tracks, not every train has two tracks, and I also want to clarify that it’s electric. Imagine how much gas emission is going to be avoided because (the track in) Merida, Cancun, Tulum, and Chetumal, is electric”.
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