The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi, who intervened live from New Delhi, proceeded, this afternoon, with the E-inauguration of 956 Social Housing Units and the E-launching of the Civil Service College (CSC) and 8MW Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) Farm projects. In Mauritius, the official ceremony was held at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Memorial Hall, Port Louis.
The event also comprised the exchange of an agreement between the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India and State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Infrastructure Development Community Ltd to extend a 190 million USD Line of Credit from India to Mauritius for the Metro Express Project and other infrastructure projects; a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of Small Development projects in the field of education, healthcare, community development, women empowerment, disaster risk reduction, energy, among others, to the tune of some 10 million USD, and; the handing over of keys to two beneficiaries of the Social Housing Units.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed gratitude and profound respect to the Prime Minister of India for accepting to grace the function through videoconferencing. He thanked the Government of India for the wide-reaching cooperation and technical and financial assistance provided to Mauritius over the years.
Mr Jugnauth recalled that this is the third time that a virtual inauguration is being held for projects launched with the assistance of the Indian Government, namely, in 2019, for the inauguration of the first phase of the Metro Express project and the New ENT hospital, and in 2020 for the inauguration of the New Supreme Court building.
He underlined that Mauritius would have never been able to implement projects of such great magnitude in such a short time without the support and assistance of the Government of India.
As regards the Metro Express, the Prime Minister indicated that commercial operations of the Metro Express along the first segment of the rail corridor have been running since January 2020 while the second and third phases of this flagship project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. He indicated that the Government is currently working on the fourth phase and, in a bid to pay gratitude for India’s support to the Metro Express Project, the Mauritian Government has decided to name one of the major metro stations as the Mahatma Gandhi station.
Speaking about the New ENT Hospital, Mr Jugnauth indicated that the hospital is fully operational and provides state-of-the-art medical facilities to the people of Mauritius and is one of the foremost institutions used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Likewise, he pointed out that the New Supreme Court building is also fully functional and is equipped with adequate amenities so as to enable the judiciary to make the best use of innovative technologies for a more inclusive, effective and efficient delivery of justice.
In addition, the the Prime Minister emphasised that the project of 956 Social Housing Units at Dagotière and Mare Tabac with all infrastructural and recreational facilities has become a reality thanks to the generous grant of 20 million USD and 25 million USD under the Indian Line of Credit to fulfill the objective of providing adequate housing for families in various income groups.
Moreover, he underscored that the construction of the CSC at Moka is yet another testimony of the support of the Indian Government through the grant of 4.74 million USD to enhance the skills of our human resources and cater for the training needs of the public sector at large including state-owned enterprises.
The third project, Prime Minister Jugnauth outlined, concerns the setting up of an 8MW Solar PV Farm at Tamarind Falls in Henrietta and is yet another key element in the promotion of our green energy initiative.
He pointed out that the project, funded under a Line of Credit of 500 million USD from the EXIM Bank of India through the SBM Infrastructure Development Company Ltd and the State Investment Corporation (SIC) Development Company, comprises the design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning of the solar PV farm. Once operational, the solar PV farm will generate about 14 GW hours of electricity annually and will contribute towards the national objective of attaining 60% renewable energy mix by 2030.
The Prime Minister indicated that Mauritius will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mauritius and India next year and will do its best to celebrate this landmark event with all the symbolism that it deserves.
In the same vein, the Prime Minister spoke of the two countries’ strong historical and cultural ties. In this context, he invited Shri Narendra Modi to make an official visit to Mauritius in November or December 2022 for the grand inauguration of the full Metro Express service from Port Louis to Curepipe and Rose Hill to Réduit.
For his part, Shri Modi paid tribute to late Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) and recalled his stellar contribution to strengthen India-Mauritius ties. He stated that SAJ was a visionary leader, who was widely respected in India and that is why, upon his passing, the Indian Government had declared a day of national mourning in India, and the Parliament had also paid homage to him.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that today’s event sets a new chapter in the shared history and cooperation between Mauritius and India which are united by history, ancestry, culture, language and the shared waters of the Indian Ocean.
He expressed satisfaction that the Metro Express's popularity has crossed the 5.6 million passengers mark and pointed out that he looks forward to supporting the further extension of the Metro, under the 190 million USD Line of Credit agreement exchanged today. It is also a matter of satisfaction and pride for us that the New ENT Hospital has been instrumental in combating COVID-19, he stated.
Speaking of the projects launched, the Indian Prime Minister highlighted that this again demonstrates our shared commitment to improving the lives of our people. He emphasised that the Agreement on Small Development Projects exchanged today will deliver high-impact projects at the community level across Mauritius.
Prime Minister Modi recalled that the Indo-Mauritian partnership stretches in other sectors such as Maritime economy and security and disaster risk reduction, and outlined some of the instances where India assisted Mauritius. These include: handing over a Dornier aircraft on lease; completing the Short Refit of the Mauritian Coast Guard ship Barracuda; the deployment of equipment and experts to contain the Wakashio oil spill; and cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Vaccine Maitri programme where Mauritius was one of the first countries to benefit from vaccines from India.
In the coming days, he underlined, the two countries will begin work on several important projects such as the Renal Transplant unit, the Forensic Science Laboratory, the National Library&Archives and, the Mauritius Police Academy. In this context, Shri Narendra Modi reiterated that India will always continue to stand by Mauritius in its development journey.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.
© Press Release 2021
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