For months, Nicaragua has ignored Costa Rica’s formal request for information on a large interoceanic canal project.
The project, promoted by the Asian transnational Honk Kong Nicaragua Development (HKND) began more than 19 months ago, but the authorities recognize that the project is about archaeological, geological, photographic or cartographic ‘studies’.
This week, the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry confirmed that they received no response to the request sent long ago, aiming to consider potential impacts on national territory.
The work schedule of HKND stated that for the second half of this year they should start the process of land acquisition and resettlement. That has not happened.
“What we essentially have is the research, because a canal is not about tractors, but about having all the scientific basis of environmental, social and engineering research to start. But we are about to start major works,” said Telemaco Talavera, a spokesman for the Commission of the Grand Canal.
The work would cost $ 50 billion and the construction of 2 ports in Nicaragua, one in the Pacific and one in the Caribbean, is projected, as well as a free trade zone and an economic development zone.
The plan is to complete the project by 2020. Talavera insisted they are working to make it happen.
We have not set a new date, so I cannot say that there is a delay,”
Las year, Allan Astorga, a Costa Rican geologist, warned that any alteration in the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua will have a direct impact on Costa Rica.
Any impact on Lake Nicaragua or San Juan River will reach Colorado River sooner or later. 90% of its water is drained to wetlands of northwestern Costa Rica, which are protected areas,”
explained the specialist.
The construction of the Grand Canal generated all kinds of opposition in Nicaraguan environmentalists and indigenous peoples who would be affected by the mega construction.
The project has a length of 278 kilometers, between 230 and 250 meters of width and will have 4 sub stages with ports, roads, railways and commercial areas that would be given in concession to other companies.