Environmentalists cite Ruta 32 concerns

An environmental group has presented a litany of complaints against the proposed widening of Ruta 32 from Limón to Río Frio.  This is the project that has the highest priority of the government.

The organization, Federación Conservacionista de Costa Rica, questioned why a bill approving the job calls for expediting the environmental studies.

The president, Mauricio Álvarez M. a Universidad de Costa Rica professor, called this a constitutional violation.

He said the route runs through areas that are major water sources and mangroves.

Álvarez called for a cleaner project and suggested an electric train instead of widening the highway to four lanes. Much of the electricity would be produced at hydro plants, he noted.

Plans call for approval by the end of the month of the bill authorizing the project. However, court actions are likely, and that might cause problems with the government of the People’s Republic of China, which would finance the $475 million job. Costa Rica has gotten one extension on the project.

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