Jalisco’s Governor Enrique Alfaro recently presented the development plan for the Chapala lake region. The focus of the 533-million-peso plan will be mainly on the expansion of the transport system. The creation of a train connection between Guadalajara and Chapala is currently planned, which will considerably facilitate transport between the two regions. For the development of the project, the state is cooperating with the railway company Ferromex.
According to Enrique Alfaro, the goals of the plan include social justice, improved security, economic development and a more effective government for the more than 300,000 people in the region. He also stressed that measures should be taken to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. Effective cooperation between the various local governments in the region is required to ensure implementation.
More than half of the investment – just under 303 million pesos – will be used to upgrade highways and roads in the region. These include the municipalities of Jocotepec, Chapala, Poncitlán, Tuxcueca, Tizapán el Alto, Ocotlán and Jamay.
In addition, some 26 million pesos are earmarked for improving the region’s health facilities. Funds have also been made available for the rehabilitation of Lake Chapala, which is polluted by arsenic and ammonia.
During a tour through the region, Alfaro took a boat trip on the lake and released some 250,000 juveniles. A total of one million brood fish are to be released into the lake next year.
José Luis Valencia, head of the government’s Strategic Projects Agency, said the development plan also includes funding for Isla de Mezcala, a small island in Lake Chapala, and Chapala Media Park, a technology area. Financial support for businesses will be provided through the Jalisco Business Promotion Fund, he said.
The introduction of new transport services and gastronomic corridors on Lake Chapala will be considered as well as the development of new markets, the redesign of waterfront promenades, a new cycle path and the rehabilitation of the Santiago River.
Alfaro said, however, that all potential projects must first be approved by committees. These are composed of government officials, members of the business sector, civil society organisations and citizens.
The governor added that he will personally monitor the progress of the plan.