‘Beginning of a new stage’: Piñera presents development plan for Chile’s Ñuble region

SANTIAGO – President Sebastián Piñera presented on Wednesday the development plan for the Ñuble region, which has as central axes to improve road infrastructure, promote water works, build more and better health centers and promote education and innovation initiatives.

“It is a region that has, without doubt, a history that allows us to base ourselves and put our feet on rock and not on sand, to be able to look to the future,” said the President during an event in Coihueco, accompanied by Mayor Martin Arrau, legislators and local authorities.

“We want this to be really the beginning of a new stage, a stage of rebirth, a stage of re-empowerment of what this region is capable of giving, is capable of doing,” added the President in the ceremony, which was held in a blueberry processing plant.

The plan considers an investment of US$5,201 million for eight years.

For the development of better connectivity, the program considers the paving of 100 kilometers of roads per year for a decade. In addition, Route 5 will be extended in the section between Talca and Chillán, with an investment of US$521 million, and new bridges will be deployed in the area. On the other hand, the frequency will be improved and the travel time on the Chillán-Alameda train will be reduced.

In terms of water, progress will be made with the Punilla Reservoir and the tender for the Zapallar Reservoir, two works that together involve more than US$1.06 billion of resources for the region.

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Meanwhile, in health, the construction of the New Regional Hospital of Ñuble will begin, the High Resolutivity Service of Chillán Viejo will be completed and five Cesfam will be built or improved.

In housing 5,664 new housing solutions are projected between 2018-2021, to reduce the housing deficit, while in education five new bicentennial high schools will be promoted in the region.

The president stressed that the region’s growth tripled in the last year, going from an expansion of 1.8% in 2017 to 5.6% in 2018. “It is a region that demonstrates its ability to triple its growth in one year, tripling the capacity to create jobs, tripling the capacity to create opportunities. These are concrete facts because behind growth is not just a figure, there are jobs, there are opportunities, there is consumption, there is greater well-being.”

He added that the development program seeks to “take advantage of the region taking off based on its big engines.”