GIS - 04-October, 2019: The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth together with the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi, proceeded, yesterday, with the E-Launching of the Metro Express and the new ENT Hospital at, Richelieu Operations Centre.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo; the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo; the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister of Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth; the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha and other Ministers and personalities were present.
The ceremony also comprised the inauguration of the Operational Control Centre at Richelieu; a short presentation on the Metro Express and the ENT Hospital; unveiling of E-Plaque of the Metro Express and the ENT Hospital; and an inaugural trip of the Light Rail Vehicle from Richelieu Depot to Rose-Hill Central Station and back to the Depot.
In his address, through a videoconferencing, Shri Narendra Modi, said that the E-Launch sets a new chapter in the shared history and cooperation between Mauritius and India. The Metro Express, he stated, will provide an efficient transport service to the citizens as well as contribute to the economic activities of the country. With regards the ENT Hospital, he mentioned, that it will provide quality health care services to the population adding that all these projects reiterate the commitment of the Indian Government to support the development of the country as well as to provide better quality life to Mauritians.
He stated that India will further support Mauritius in the construction of a renal unit, area health cares and mediclinics and that other projects are in the pipeline. India looks forward to work closely with Mauritius on Maritime economy and security and disaster risk reduction, he added.
Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed gratitude and profound respect to Prime Minister of India for accepting to grace the function through a videoconferencing adding that this gesture is another demonstration of Shri Narendra Modi affection and consideration for Mauritius. He underlined that Mauritius, would have never been able to implement the Metro Express Project and the ENT Hospital in such a short time without the support and assistance of the Government of India. Mauritius, he said, will always look forward to more close collaboration with India for the realisation of projects of great magnitude.
He indicated that a three-decade Mauritian dream of a modern transport system has finally come true with the realisation of the Metro Express Project. The event bears testimony to Government’s determination and commitment to modernise the country and enhance the quality of life of the citizens, he said.
The Metro Express, he highlighted, is not only a stand-alone project but is a core pillar of a wider strategy to modernising the landscape of the country. Mr Jugnauth also indicated that Mauritius will soon acquire a fleet of modern electric buses that will cover the island. Government he said, will ensure that all citizens have access to a safe, ecological, comfortable and affordable transport system, thus contributing to reducing traffic congestion, road accidents as well as pollution.
He also recalled that Shri Narendra Modi spoke of the endeavors and achievements of the Government of India at the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations adding that Mauritius, shares the same vision for the future. On this score, he said that Government, is sparing no efforts in ensuring that all elements are in place to support and sustain an ambitious developmental and economic growth strategy.
Minister Nandcoomar Bodha, lauded the determination of all stakeholders including the workforce who have for the past two years contributed towards the successful implementation of the Metro Express project. He also thanked the public in general for their support and understanding despite the constraints they faced namely traffic jam, delays and any unforeseen obstacles throughout the project. The Minister gratitude to the Government of India for the exceptional financial package which includes a generous grant and a sustainable line of credit so as to make the Metro Project accessible to a Small Island Development State like Mauritius.
Metro Express Project
The E-Launching of the first phase of the Metro Express Project connecting Rose-Hill to Port-Louis of 13 km marks a significant landmark in the history of Mauritius as the Metro Express becomes the first light rail public transport system, to be operational. This project is being financed partly by a grant of USD 275 million from the Government of India.
The Government of India also provided a financial assistance of US$500 million and a further line of credit of US$500 million for the construction of the new ENT hospital, which is a major Government project aiming to provide high-tech equipment and quality health care services.
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