Temas Especiales

27 de Nov de 2020


Tree planting on the Cinta Costera

If you have been worried about the constant changes in the plans for the Cinta Costera development, and happen to live in the area that ...

If you have been worried about the constant changes in the plans for the Cinta Costera development, and happen to live in the area that will be asked to pay extra taxes for the new “parkland” that will be largely concrete, now may be the time to stop reading, for even the areas designated green have big problems according to environmental advisor Eduardo A. Esquivel.

And he predicts that the forecast completion date is a joke, which makes my mid-June ticket in a “finishing date” tombola, look like a dollar lost.

Esquivel claims no “planning” of any sort was done for the planting of trees because the layer of earth used is far from sufficient for an adult tree.

Nor says were studies conducted on a tree species' possibility of adapting to the salinity of the area. “ In an area where ten thousand trees and palms could be planted, they plan on planting one  thousand to make space for parking lots” he says. 

“The main problem of this design that the majority of the architects do not have the  credentials or the capacity to design these green garden areas. They do it based on information they get from books and do not take into account the fundamentals of the agronomic and botanical aspect.”

“This job must be done by a landscaping and gardening professional or at least by a specialized agronomist. A biologist could identify a specie and its habitat, but not the agronomic requirements, which in this case are most important.”

He goes on: “Any professional with rudimentary knowledge of the subject knows that the best time for planting a tree is during the rainy season. However, the reality is that the Ministry of Public Work authorities could care less. What matters most to them are political views, in other words, finish before June so that the project can be listed as one of the current governments accomplishments. I do not see it being finished before January or February of 2010. ”But the additional taxes are expected to be levied around August or September.  

“Even though the main landfill (made of stone extracted from the widening of the canal project), is only 77 percent finished and the leveling of gravel and soil are at least at 50 percent, the green garden area is less than 30 percent done and the rest of the works such as roads, parkings, sidewalks, vending stands, etc., are at 40 percent. The president will just have to deal with the fact that he will be inaugurating a section of the Cinta Costera, that begins at Paitilla and only goes as far as the Miramar Hotel, currently being prepared at any cost for June.

“This represents around 30 percent of the Cinta Costera. In a way this is good because that means Odebrecht will have to render accounts to the new government about this controversial project. And I thought that the frenzy of grass laying in the area fronting Bern offices, and adjacent to a Bern hotel was just a reflection of my overheated brain.

If the new government is headed by Ricardo Marinelli , what then? He has already expressed his opposition to the project. Will it remain unfinished, as a memorial to the Martin Torrijos years, or would Martinelli bite his tongue, do a political back flip, and wield the scissors for the official opening ceremony.

If the December forecast is right, the ceremony would be after his first 100 days, by which time the voters will have been able to measure the reality of his promises, and perhaps a little ribbon cutting will be in order.

CHECKING UP Meanwhile, information extracted from the MOP (all questions had to be submitted in writing) shows that they will have to re direct the road to circle the Balboa Statue. too fragile to be moved.

The plans for the Fishing and Yacht Club new buildings have not yet been approved, although a building already stands on the new land fill that has been put in place to avoid moving the club and its members from the government donated land. At first glance it looks similar to the corrugated roofed sheds that blighted Avenida Balboa, before work on the Cinta Costera, began.

A query on the cost of over runs got no answer. Will the 2,021 yellow shirted workers be donating their time when the original deadline is passed, or will Oderbrecht, sated with the extra $51 million for the Colon highway project, give Panama a free pass, or leave the bad news for the incoming president?