The Design and Construct contract was awarded yesterday to the firm Larsen&Toubro, a major Indian multinational based in Mumbai during a signature ceremony held at the Hennessy Park Hotel, Ebène in the presence of the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
In a press conference, Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed his keen determination to implement this major project that will change the infrastructural landscape of the country and pave the way towards modernising and redefining the public transport system while at the same improving the quality of life of the citizens.
He also expressed his gratitude towards the Indian Government for its continuous and unflinching support to Mauritius especially with the grant of Rs 9.9 billion which he added has been a determinant factor for the implementation of the Metro Express project.
He reassured the population that the Metro Express is a financially sound and sustainable project which will help boost the economy and that no stone will be left unturned towards the realisation of the project. He recalled that the project will help address the traffic congestion problem, generate employment in the transport sector and reduce carbon emission and road accidents.
Furthermore, Mr Jugnauth underlined that each station will be a cluster of economic activity which will have significant spill-overs on its surroundings. The stations will also provide opportunities for small and medium enterprises operators in line with Government’s vision of transforming the economic and social environment of the country through an accelerated development path, he added.
For his part, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, qualified the project as the backbone of the transformation of the transport system into a new national transport network. He further highlighted that the public transport by bus will complement the Metro Express through a feeder bus system.
As for the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mr Abhay Thakur, he emphasised that the signing of the contract is yet another milestone in the cooperation between India and Mauritius Metro Express project which is in line with India’s development assistance programme. According to him, this project is the biggest leap into strengthening the relation of kinship and bilateral relations between India and Mauritius.
Metro Express Project
The Metro Express Project will span over a distance of 26 km from Curepipe to Port Louis and comprise 19 stations, and 6 urban terminal including four interchangers. Eighteen air-conditioned trains will be operational with an accommodation capacity of 307 to 400 passengers with Wi-Fi-facilities. The ticket fare will be aligned with that of the bus fare. The target is to reach 53 800 passengers by 2021. The project is estimated to decrease traffic congestion which is costing the country Rs 4 billion annually.
Feasibility study and preliminary design and alignment of the Metro Express project have been carried out by the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise. The project will be partly funded by the Indian grant of Rs 9.9 billion and through a line of credit by the State Bank of Mauritius Infrastructure Development Company Ltd.