GIS – 1st April 2015: The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mauritius and India for the development of Agalega does not include any Lease Agreement in whatsoever form, nor does it comprise the setting up of a Coastal Surveillance Radar Station on the island, said the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, yesterday at the National Assembly in reply to the Private Notice Question of the Leader of the Opposition.
The PNQ pertained to the MOU which was signed between the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of India during the recent visit to Mauritius of the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, and whether it entails Mauritius joining India’s Regional Radar Network or the trilateral India-Sri Lanka-Maldives Regional Security Cooperation set-up.
The MOU, stated the Minister, precisely addresses the infrastructural problems faced by Agaleans, with projects to the tune of USD 18 million in the form of financial grant by the Indian Government. The latter will also provide suitable personnel with necessary expertise and experience to assist in the implementation of these projects.
The Minister recalled that the existing jetty, which is only 60m long, was constructed in 1985. He stressed the need for the construction of a proper quay since the jetty is the only facility available for loading and unloading of cargo and embarking and disembarking of passengers. The airstrip also needs upgrading and presently only small aircrafts such as the Dornier can land in Agalega, Minister Koonjoo pointed out.
The MOU on Agalega
The MOU relates to the improvement of on sea and air transportation facilities for Agalega and enhancing the condition of the inhabitants of the island. The components are:
· Construction of a jetty for berthing of ships
· Rehabilitation and repaving of the runway over a maximum length of 4000 feet, an apron for two aircraft of size (ATR 42 type) and a taxiway
· Installation of a power generation facility of approximately 300 KW
· Setting up of a water desalination plant of capacity of approximately 60 tonnes per day
· Construction of a National Coast Guard Post, including basic repair facilities, and
· Any other facility related to the project.
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