Environmental activists call the Mexico tourist train a "nightmare"

Environmental activists call the Mexico tourist train a "nightmare"
The building of the Mayan Train, the massive tourism project of departing president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is the

Thick steel columns supporting a contentious new tourist railway interfere into a delicate ecosystem in a cave in Mexico's Riviera Maya, where nature has sculpted an incredibly beautiful underground landscape.

These natural sinkholes and caverns, known as cenotes, are thought to number 2,400 in the Yucatan Peninsula. Tourists frequent these places to swim and snorkel in the pristine waters that surround some of them.

Protesters claim that the Maya Train, one of the major infrastructure projects of departing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, poses a threat to the unique geological system.

Their worst nightmare comes true. Biologist and speleologist Roberto Rojo told AFP that they had observed a big drill entering the cave and shattering its ceiling as well as its old stalactites, assessing the damage.

According to Rojo, the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) Maya Train loop around southeast Mexico will require up to 17,000 columns when it is fully operational, having partially opened in December.

The project has not stopped work in spite of a court order to halt it while environmental studies are conducted.

The government claims that the railway will improve one of the poorest areas of the nation, and the original plan called for building a portion of it next to a major highway.

Environmentalists, however, claim that the government relocated the section into the jungle to prevent a confrontation with hoteliers who were concerned about traffic jams during construction.

News Source: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/234594/mexico-tourist-train-an-environmental-nightmare-activists-say