GIS – 26 May 2014: The Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, Mr Anil Kumar Bachoo, made an appeal for patience to the residents of the Chamarel and Baie du Cap regions vexed by the road closure following the rock fall disaster which occurred on 26 April 2014 at Macondé along the coastal road at Baie du Cap.
The Vice Prime Minister who was holding a press briefing on security measures and works undertaken for roads of Macondé and Chamarel in his office in Port Louis on 23 May 2014 stated that Government is doing all it can for works to move swiftly and to provide adequate facilities to residents so as not to hinder movements and activities of residents. ‘The present road’, said Mr Bachoo, ‘will be realigned with an enlargement of the road over 250 metres and works have already started.’ He added that the contract for the removal of boulders to prevent further rock slides will be awarded soon.
It is to be noted that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre, the Traffic and Road Management Safety Unit, the Road Authority, the Police and the Special Mobile force have initiated several actions to alleviate hardships encountered by the residents of the neighbouring areas of the rock fall disaster. While the road has been closed, a diversion through Chamarel and Case Noyale is in operation. The National Transport Authority has provided shuttle services, free of charge, from Baie du Cap to Croisée Case Noyale and vice-versa.
Several assessments of the situation have also been undertaken since rocks weighing some 50 tonnes fell at Macondé along the coastal road at Baie du Cap following heavy rainfalls. The Ministry enlisted the assistance of experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency as well as the services of a geotechnical expert to assess the situation and make recommendations. In addition, the Bureau de Recherche Géologique et Minière of Reunion Island sent a team to provide technical assistance as Reunion Island has a vast experience in matters of rock fall. A preliminary report was consequently submitted to the Ministry. With the realignment of the coastal road at Macondé, the present road area will be turned into a buffer zone. Steel nets will also be used to protect the area from falling rocks.