India extends USD 527 million financial assistance to Mauritius towards Metro Express

New Delhi [India] (ANI): 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 Line of Credit) towards the Metro Express project in Mauritius, according to sources.
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, according to sources. 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 Mauritius Prime Minister on June 20, last year, according to sources.
The MoU regarding Indian grant assistance for implementation of Small Development Projects in Mauritius were exchanged on Thursday.
In view of the significant impact of the HICDPs (High Impact Community Development Projects) at the local level, MoU was drafted on lines similar to HICDP agreements concluded with some other countries.
The projects under this MOU will relate primarily to socio-economic development, particularly the 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, shall be primary themes of such projects.
The implementation of Small Development Projects will help in reaching out to various regions of Mauritius both in the mainland as well as in the Outer Islands (Agalega and Rodrigues) and to take up small-scale projects with a shorter gestation period and high significance.
PM Narendra Modi and his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on Thursday jointly inaugurated the Social Housing Units Project in Mauritius. This project has been implemented as part of the vibrant development partnership between India and Mauritius.
On this occasion, the two Prime Ministers also took part in a virtual foundation stone laying ceremony for two other projects construction of a state-of-the-art Civil Service College and an eight MW Solar PV Farm was also undertaken as part of India’s development support. The event was held via video conference.
The Social Housing project 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).
India and Mauritius have also completed some of the projects under SEP.
In October 2019, Prime Ministers of India and Mauritius had jointly e-launched Phase I of the Metro Express Project and the ENT Hospital project. The two had also jointly e-inaugurated Mauritius’ new Supreme Court building on July 30, 2020.
The government of India has successfully handed over Phase II-A of the Metro Express Project and Educational Tablets to school children.
Currently, the ongoing projects are Phase II-B of the Metro Express project between Quatre Bornes and Cure pipe, and Phase III between Rose Hill and Reduit. These are expected to be completed by end of 2022.
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, petanquecourt (popular Mauritian game), jogging track, etc) as well as a Community Centre and kiosk for commercial shops.
The two leaders had also taken part in the virtual foundation stone laying ceremony of the Civil Service College that is being set up under an MoU 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 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 3574 sq.m. and an Auditorium of 1120 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 ongoing efforts in training 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 two leaders also participated in the eight MW Solar PV Farm in the virtual foundation stone laying ceremony for 8 MW Solar PV Farm project. The 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 the 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, according to sources. (Image source: Instagram)

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