It was recently announced that Semarnat authorized the construction of the mega-island Gran Island, with 3 thousand rooms in the hotel zone of Cancun. Faced with this project, academics and authorities warn that it is located in an area of great environmental impact and in a saturated hotel zone, which suffers from contamination of its lagoon by drainage discharges, deficient functioning of its treatment plant, saturation of the electric network service and health, as well as mobility problems, so building it would mean environmental and economic damage to Cancun.
The authorization by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) for the construction of the mega hotel Gran Island, of 3 thousand rooms, in the second stage of the hotel zone of Cancun, whose investment amounts to 10 billion pesos by the firm BVG World, of the entrepreneur Elias Sacal Cababie, strange for being built on land where previously two projects with much lower environmental impact were denied.
The area comprises two lots, one of 5 thousand 982,111 square meters (m2) and the other of 217,576,457 m2, for a total of 223,558,568 m2; both located on Boulevard Kukulcán, at kilometer 16.5, in Supermanzana A-2 “A” Second Stage, in the second stage of the hotel zone of Cancun.
In 2005 the construction of a project integrated by 94 houses of three levels (town houses), 20 residences of three levels, 189 apartments distributed in 21 buildings of 5 levels each (Mediterranean villas), and 1,120 apartments distributed in 16 buildings were requested. of 20 levels each, areas of recreation, swimming pools, green areas and parking, which was not carried out.
In 2010, BVG presented the MIA to carry out the Grand Island project that it is proposed to develop, consisting of a condominium complex with a total of 238 Private Units destined for single-family housing, as well as common areas and for private use, which included: Vehicle access booth and pedestrian with surveillance, parking boxes, tennis courts, gym and spa, snack, sandpit, among other amenities, but was rejected.
Only in the area of drinking water the 35 thousand rooms of hotel that currently has the tourist corridor of Cancun demand a day 52 million 500 thousand liters of water, starting from which each unit of lodging spends 1,500 liters of the vital liquid daily, according to with data from the National Water Commission (Conagua). ( Hoteliers from Cancun and Puerto Morelos make an international tour to attract tourism from South America ).
In order to cover the demand for drinking water at 6,734 hotel rooms (which does not count with the new 3,000 approved), which are projected over the next three years, 11 billion 728,500 liters a day are required, however currently the concessionaire of the service of the vital liquid has problems of supply not only of the tourist corridor but of the city.
Susana Enríquez, a researcher of Sciences of the Sea, indicates in Ruptura 360, that the Nichupté lagoon is the most damaged by the discharges of the hotels since the capacity of the treatment plant of the Hotel Zone is exceeded, so that both the plant as the lagoon they produce pestilent odors in the area.
However, the building that represents almost 10 percent of the rooms available in Cancun was accepted by the current federal administration, in an area that, according to researcher at the University of the Caribbean, Chrystine McCoy, is saturated by what This type of property is not feasible because it will cause irreversible damage in the area.
The investigation of McCoy Cador warns that before the drainage lags in the city and the demographic increase, this vital resource in the area is put in danger, with obvious environmental and social implications, of there the importance of not continuing on densifying the zone and promote sustainable tourism projects.
In 2016, McCoy carried out the study “Evaluation of tourist load capacity as an element of analysis of the performance of a tourist destination: Cancún case”, where it indicates that the load of the lagoon is saturated, but the construction of 6 thousand 734 rooms of hotel in the tourist corridor of Cancun in 2018 that have already been approved by the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and that will enter into operations in the next three years, will not only check the urban infrastructure of the hotel zone, but that will diminish in the public services of the city.
He made a diagnosis of the management of land use, mainly tourism-hotel (TH), in the Hotel Zone of Cancun by reviewing the land uses proposed in the Cancun Master Plan and in the subsequent Urban Development Plans or Programs of approximately 99 hotels it was possible to find that: At the moment of contrasting the number of rooms reported by the different hotels located in the Hotel Zone with the number of rooms authorized in the PDU 2014 – 2030, current urban development program, according to the meters of land they have, 20% of establishments have built more rooms than allowed.
“There is no longer the capacity, not only of construction but also of the people who demand services, and the ecological impact and the road impact of Boulevard Kukulcan. But we must also think about what type of tourist we want ?, because this is tourism of high ecological impact, and is not the tourist of high purchasing power that is supposed to be sought, “he explained.
The supply of electric power is another issue since it is also required to cover the demand for this service as the hotel zone consumes 50% of the total electric power and as the number of hotels increases, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) will have to strengthen the supply network.
In the jurisdiction there are three turbogas substations: The Cancún plant, which started operations in January 1974; the Nizu 1 and Nizuc 2 units that were inaugurated in October 1980, both renewed with new technology equipment in order to increase the generation capacity of electricity.
Faced with the demand for the service, the CFE invested 1,800 million pesos in the Kekén electrical substation, but deficiencies continue due to the growth of the urban sprawl, in addition to the new tourism projects, as well as commercials in the hotel zone.
For months in the Yucatan Peninsula, and mainly in Cancun, there have been frequent blackouts in the city, which is why it was announced that the Development Program of the National Electric System (Prodesen) 2019-2033 will give priority to increase the capacity of Transmission in the Yucatan Peninsula, in order to address the problem of electricity supply in the Cancun-Riviera Maya area. But possibly it will be completed until 2023.
Now we have to wait if, as in previous administrations, the municipal government grants licenses regardless of the environmental and social damage that this entails.
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