Mauritius: The Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Alan Ganoo, inaugurated today at the Old Passenger Terminal of the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) International Airport in Plaine Magnien, an Inspectorate Office of the National Land Transport Authority (NLTA).
The Officer-in-Charge of the NLTA, Dr K. Reesaul, and other personalities were present at the inauguration ceremony.
In his address, Minister Ganoo highlighted that the setting-up of this Office was long overdue as the NLTA has been receiving several complaints in relation to the illegal operations of Private Vans, Private Cars, taxis based outside the airport and Contract Buses at the airport.
This illegal practice, he observed, has caused frustration and inconveniences to those operators duly licensed to work at the airport as the illegal operators have been impeding their daily operations and impacting their revenue.
The Minister outlined that there are currently 72 taxis licensed to provide their services at the SSR International Airport, in addition to Contract Cars and Destination Management Companies with pre-booked vouchers which are authorised to operate within the airport as regards dropping off and picking up of passengers and tourists. He emphasised that this Inspectorate Office is, therefore, a long-term solution to curb illegal operations at the airport, especially with the resumption of normal tourist activities in Mauritius.
Furthermore, he commended Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd and Airport Terminal Operations Ltd – Mauritius for having assisted the NLTA in its endeavour to deter the unregulated and illegal operations of transport services at the airport. He also expressed confidence that this Inspectorate Office will help to circumvent these illegal operations.
Minister Ganoo moreover dwelt on the creation of a dedicated NLTA Squad, which will maintain close supervision of traffic centres and bus stations in the nearby regions of Rose Belle and Plaine Magnien so as to address issues such as non-adherence to established timetables by some bus operators, amongst others. He stated that the setting up of a hotline service to provide the public with information pertaining to the services delivered by the NLTA and the related procedures is also in the pipeline and will soon be operational.
On another note, the Minister recalled that a Disciplinary Committee had been set up since September 2022 at the level of the NLTA to initiate and hear any disciplinary proceedings against a faulty holder of a licence, a permit, or an authorisation. He also cautioned that illegal operators will not be tolerated by the NLTA and will be sanctioned as required.
It is recalled that, as of January 2023, the number of vehicles registered with the NLTA stood at 650,187. For the year 2022, some 350 crackdown operations have been carried out by the NLTA across the island, and a total of 16,640 contraventions have been established, including some 60 contraventions booked at the SSR International Airport.