Mauritius: The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, proceeded yesterday in Souillac with the laying of the foundation stone for the new Administrative Building (Headquarters) of the District Council of Savanne.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo; the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo; the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy; the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal; Private Parliamentary Secretaries, Dr Ismael Muhammad Rawoo and Mr Nand Prakash Ramchurrun; and Member of Parliament, Ms Marie Sandra Monia Mayotte, as well as other eminent personalities were also present.
The new Administrative Building, which will cover a surface area of 2,255 m2, will be funded to the tune of some Rs 70 million. It will house under one roof all the facilities and services offered by the Local Authority to the inhabitants of the 17 villages under its jurisdiction. On that occasion, a mini–Soccer Pitch for the inhabitants of Souillac was also inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
In his address, Mr Jugnauth rejoiced that the district of Savanne, which is the second largest district in Mauritius with 80,000 inhabitants, will now have its own Headquarters. The new Building, he underlined, will be designed with modern and green infrastructure with all necessary amenities for the region of Savanne to ensure efficient service delivery for residents.
He added that this new facility will enhance the working conditions of Officers of the District Council and will improve the Council’s operations and services.
The new Building will accommodate essential services as well as the following sections: Finance, Land Use and Planning, Public Health, Welfare, Customer Service Unit and Cashier’s Office. It will also house Administrative Departments, the Chairperson’s Office, and a modern and sophisticated Council Chamber.
Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled that the District Council of Savanne was set up in 2012 following the decree of the Local Government Act 2011 and its separation from the then District Council of Grand Port/Savanne. He indicated that construction works for the new Administrative Block will start end of November 2022 and is expected to be completed next year.
Speaking about the difficult situation brought about by COVID-19, he stated that Government is very sensitive to the plight of the working class and enterprises. To that end, he recalled that several measures and financial assistance had been provided so as to prevent job losses.
He also urged the population to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially the elderly and those with co-morbidities. He underscored that vaccine immunity decreases with time and hence the need to get booster doses. He also observed that the number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing recently and urged the population to continue to take sanitary measures.
Prime Minister Jugnauth further dwelt on the numerous projects that are being implemented in the region.
- The construction of drains to the tune of Rs 500 million;
- Construction of three incinerators at Chamouny, Grand Bois and Souillac and the fourth one in Tyack, which will soon be under construction;
- Provision of Rs 17 million for the upgrading of cemeteries;
- Resurfacing of roads to the tune of Rs 50 million;
- Renovation of markets at Escalier and Tyack to the tune of Rs 25 million each;
- Construction of a market in Chemin Grenier to the tune of Rs 125 million and a Multicomplex in St Felix for Rs 75 million;
- A swimming pool at Tyack for Rs 125 million;
- Renovation of Chateau de Benares to the tune of Rs 30 million.
The health and transport sectors, he highlighted, are also experiencing unprecedented development. He spoke of the Metro Express project and the construction of Mediclinics and Hospitals across the country. The ultimate objective of Government, he stated, is to address challenges and work for the progress and development of the country.
He also laid emphasis on the importance of sports and physical activity and recalled that Mini-Soccer Pitches are being constructed around the country, adding that the villages of Rivière des Anguilles, Rivière du Poste, Bel Ombre, Camp Diable, and Chemin Grenier, amongst others, will soon have their Min-Soccer Pitches. He urged the population to practice regular physical activity and abstain from drinking, smoking and taking drugs.
For his part, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, underlined that the vision of the Government is to bring the same facilities available in towns to the villages. He recalled that Rs 20 million is being disbursed by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development for each Local Authority for the implementation of projects.
He also said that in view of the Government’s vision to target 60% renewable energy in its electricity mix by 2030, his Ministry is looking into ways to enhance street lighting services by using solar photovoltaic and to equip the 12 District Councils with solar panels so that they can produce their own electricity.
Speaking about the Afrobarometer Survey, he highlighted that 70% of people expressed satisfaction with the services provided by District Councils as regards street lighting, markets and scavenging. He pointed out that some counsellors are involved in acts of corruption which tarnishes the reputation of the District Councils. He said that Government would not tolerate such acts and urged the population to come forward to report these cases.
Also present, the Chairperson of the District Council of Savanne, Mr Narainsamy Seeneevassen, rejoiced that the construction of the new Administrative Building would change the look of Souillac.
He recalled that some 200 projects had been implemented to the tune of Rs 450 million in the different villages. He also underlined the need for District Councils to be more energy efficient and for markets to produce their own electricity.