Building the infrastructure that best fits the future and improving the quality of life are the main concerns of the 2017-2018 Budget, underlined the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth.
A major turn in the development of infrastructure in Mauritius is expected by the execution of the Metro Express project financed by the support of the Government of India. The objectives are, amongst others, to drastically reduce the commuting time for citizens, raise productivity and eliminate the inconvenience of traffic congestion.
The Budget makes provision of some Rs 4.9 billion to be spent on expanding the transport network through various projects. These include:
Construction of both the Jumbo-Phoenix round-about and the A1M1 Bridge
A new road to connect La Vigie and La Brasserie and a direct link between the south and west through Beaux Songes
A second fly-over to connect directly the M1 to the Terre Rouge Verdun motorway
A series of measures have also been announced to address the infrastructural issues at regional, local and national level. The National Development Unit will carry out various projects namely construction of drains and upgrading and reconstruction of bridges.
Provision is also being made for an exceptional capital grant of Rs 500 million to local authorities so that all councils can address long outstanding minor infrastructural works in their localities.
A further budget of Rs 3.3 billion would be used to partly finance all the major and medium projects comprising the following:
Three new traffic centres at Piton, Ébène and Pointe aux Sables
Rehabilitation of the Ste Marie bridge at Savanne, the Joli Bois Bridge at Mare Tabac, the 38 Choisy Bridge at Poste Lafayette and the upgrading of Radier St Martin at Bel Ombre as well as the construction of bridges at Richelieu and Cité La Cure
Upgrading of 10 Community Health Centres and development of a New Health Care Centre at Coromandel
Three administrative headquarters for the Councils of Flacq, Pamplemousses and Savanne
Multi-purpose complexes at Plaine Verte and Rivière du Rempart, multi-sports complexes at Port Louis and Triolet, swimming pool at Curepipe and new leisure park at Quartier Militaire
Renovation works in eight police stations around the country
Acquisition of 20 fire and rescue vehicles and two high volume water pumps
Installation of incinerators at Camp Le Vieux, Mahebourg, Highlands, Allée Brillant, Souillac, Montagne Longue and Quatre Bornes
Development of a waterfront at Deux Frères
The project of Côte D'or City at Highlands will comprise the construction of two administrative towers for government offices to the tune of some Rs 3.6 billion. Some 250 arpents of land will be made available for commercial, business and residential spaces, as well as leisure facilities.
With regards to the Urban and Rural Regeneration Master Plan, Government has made provision for the upgrading of Ébène Cybercity. Concerning the Smart City projects, a total of around Rs 2.6 billion will be invested by the end of 2017.
Other projects are the expansion of hospital infrastructure and health care facilities including Mediclinics and Community Health Centres. The rehabilitation and upgrading of the farm buildings and associated infrastructure at the Government sheep farm at Salazie have been included in the budget to ensure quality in production of lamb meat.
Reinforcing port facilities and air connectivity
An investment of some Rs 4.6 billion will be made to transform Mauritius into a regional maritime hub. The investment pertains to:
A Master Plan for the development of a quay for leisure crafts and fishing boats at Vieux Grand Port
An extended Mauritius Container Terminal berth
The Construction of a second breakwater
The New Passenger Terminal Building at Les Salines to accommodate both Cruise, and inter-island passenger traffic
The Construction of the Riche Terre Business and Industrial Park
As regards air connectivity, a master plan will be reviewed to bring forward the construction of a second passenger terminal while the Old Passenger Terminal will be renovated and refurbished.