In an interview with the Voice of Guanacaste, Hojancha Mayor Eduardo Pineda said that the canton still has not succeeded in receiving proper attention for road infrastructure from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT). Pineda said that since the beginning of his administration in 2011, he requested help to pave three kilometers (1.8 miles) of streets in the city center, but all responses have been negative.
“I do not know if the problem is on a national or regional level, but MOPT here in Guanacaste only pays attention to certain cantons… It’s not inclusive. I wish that at least once a year they would convene all the mayors to tell us what we can count on and that way in each municipality we could plan to develop viable projects, but that does not happen,” said Pineda.
Moreover, Pineda affirmed that they have proposed small projects like paving one kilometer (.6 miles) of roadways, providing cement material or loaning machinery, but none of these have been possible.
For his part, Julio Viales, regional director of MOPT, explained that MOPT is responsible for national roads and not of cantonal roads, but they can help with asphalt in the center of Hojancha if the municipality begins with preliminary work.
“What we ask of all municipalities in order to be able to pave roads is that they have the first stage ready, which consists of patching, compacting the route with special support material and [installing] curbs and gutters. When the Municipality of Hojancha tells us that they have it ready, then we pave it,” Viales indicated.
Viales explained that a project like three kilometers in the center is very expensive due to the transportation of material from Nicoya and could exceed 500 million colones ($930,000).
Regarding Viales’ explanation, the mayor of Hojancha described his responses as excuses for the canton.
“These are cheap excuses. We presented the project to them with the respective study. If they can’t do three kilometers, at least something, but here they have not given us even one single shovelful of asphalt,” answered Pineda.
The mayor also criticized the lack of attention from the National Roads Council (CONAVI) to domestic routes like Monte Romo and Lajas.
“With the few resources we have, we have had to deal with repairing some national routes in Hojancha that are the responsibility of CONAVI-MOPT, but there they are neglected,” Pineda said.
Pineda said that a technical study has existed for several years for intervention on the road to Lajas; however, the road will still have to wait.
The mayor said that in the absence of help from MOPT, they will continue to work with the limited resources at their disposal and he confirmed that a project to pave some of the roads in the center of the city is almost ready, with funding available in the amount of 37 million colones ($69,000).
The work should take place during the month of November, as the bidding contest for the work is already underway.
Because the public roads of Hojancha were affected in 2010 by tropical storm Tomas and by the earthquake in 2012, the National Emergency Commission approved funds for the repair of these roads in some districts.
For Huacas, the amount is 150 million colones ($280,000) and the work is already in process. For Monte Romo, 80 million colones ($149,000) and for Matambu 30 million colones ($56,000) were approved; in both cases these funds would be executed after the conclusion of the work in Huacas since the same company doing the work in Huacas would be in charge of the routes in Matambu and Monte Romo.
Gloriana Escobar of the Road Management Area of the Municipality of Hojancha, said that the work in Huacas had to be suspended due to the constant rains to avoid wasting material.