New Delhi: India and Mauritius on Thursday exchanged two agreements, including on extending a US$190 million Line of Credit from India for the Metro Express Project and on the implementation of Small Development Projects.
The two agreements were exchanged during the virtual joint ceremony today between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth, to jointly inaugurate the Social Housing Units project and lay the foundation stone of the Civil Service College. The two leaders also launched the 8 MW Solar Photovoltaic Farm project.
The MoU on Small Development Projects relates primarily to socio-economic development, particularly creation of infrastructure in the education, basic health-care and community development sectors. Livelihood activity, skill development, renewable energy, conservation of environmental and cultural heritage, empowerment of women and child welfare, and disaster risk reduction, will be primary themes of such projects.
The implementation of the Small Development Projects will help in reaching out to various regions of Mauritius both in mainland as well as in Outer Islands (Agalega and Rodrigues) and to take up small-scale projects with shorter gestation period and high significance.
The $190 million Line of Credit agreement was between EXIM Bank and SBM Mauritius.
The Government of India has extended financial assistance to the tune of USD 527 million (USD 267 million as Grant and USD 260 million as LOC) towards the Metro Express project.
The 26 km long Metro project is being implemented in two phases. Phase I connecting Port Louis and Rose Hill was completed and e-inaugurated jointly by the two Prime Ministers on October 3, 2019. Phase II connecting Rose Hill to Curepipe is underway and is expected to be completed by December 2022. An interim part of Phase II i.e. between Rose Hill and Quatre Bornes (approx 2.7 km) was inaugurated by PM of Mauritius on June 20, 2021.
The Social Housing Units project inaugurated today, is one of the five high-profile infrastructure projects identified for implementation under the USD 353 million Special Economic Package (SEP) extended to the Government of Mauritius (GOM) in 2016.
The total cost of the project is USD 44.995 million – comprising grant assistance of USD 20 million under the SEP and Line of Credit support of USD 25 million (from the LOC of USD 500 million extended in 2017).
The Government of India in May 2016 had extended a grant of US$ 353 mn to the Government of Mauritius as Special Economic Package (SEP) to execute five priority projects identified by Government of Mauritius, among others. These were: the Metro Express Project, Supreme Court Building, New ENT Hospital, Supply of Digital Tablets to Primary School Children, and the Social Housing Project. With the inauguration of the Social Housing Project today, all the high profile projects under the SEP have been implemented.
The Social Housing Units project comprising 956 housing units with associated infrastructure such as Sewerage Treatment Plant, Leeching field, Playground etc. is implemented at two locations – Dagotiere (600 units) and Mare Tabac (356 units).
The housing units are of duplex type comprising of 4 housing units with two families occupying the ground floor and two families occupying the first floor. The carpet area of a single housing unit is approximately 60 sq.m., and every unit comprises of two bedrooms, living and dining rooms, kitchen, toilet and bathroom. The housing units are provided with adequate landscaping, recreational amenities (children’s playground, pétanquecourt (popular Mauritian game), jogging track, etc) as well as a Community Centre and kiosk for commercial shops.
The Civil Service College is to be set up under an MoU that was signed between India and Mauritius during the State visit of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to India in May 2017. It is a prestigious project in the context of bilateral cooperation and financed by India through a grant assistance amounting to USD 4.74 million.
The Civil Service College project is expected to be completed in 18 months i.e. by mid-2023.
After construction, the state-of-the art Civil Service College will comprise an Academic block of 3,574 sq.m. and an Auditorium of 1,120 sq.m, with all appropriate infrastructures like classrooms, meeting room, conference room, wellness centre etc.
It will provide a better facility for the Civil Servants of Mauritius to undertake various training and skill development programmes. Along with our on-going efforts intraining and capacity building, collaboration in the Civil Service College project will go a long way in building further linkages between Mauritius and India and in generating long lasting goodwill for India.
The 8 MW Solar PV Farm project at Tamarind Falls, Henrietta, is financed under a LOC of USD 500 million extended in 2017 through EXIM Bank of India for implementing various infrastructure projects in Mauritius.
The project is an extension of the existing 2 MW Solar Power Plant at Henrietta and is aimed to expand the renewable energy mix of Mauritius.
The project will comprise installation of 25,000 Photovoltaic cells to generate approximately 14 GWh of green energy annually, to electrify approximately 10,000 households with an estimated avoidance of 13,000 tons of CO2 emission.
Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, India-Mauritius Development Partnership projects have progressed rapidly. In 2019, Prime Minister Modi and the Prime Minister Jugnauth had jointly inaugurated the Metro Express project and the New ENT Hospital in Mauritius in virtual mode. Likewise, in July 2020, the new Supreme Court Building of Mauritius was also inaugurated virtually by the two Prime Ministers.
India and Mauritius share close ties anchored in our common history, ancestry, culture and language. This is reflected in the privileged development partnership between our two countries, with Mauritius being a key development partner for India in the Indian Ocean Region. Today’s event, in line with the spirit of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’, marks yet another milestone in this successful, time-tested partnership, an official statement said. (IANS)