The donation of 30 new buses by the Government of the People's Republic of China is another testimony of the strong bilateral relations between Mauritius and China. The existing cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened with forthcoming major infrastructural projects.
The Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, made this statement this morning at the handing over ceremony of thirty buses donated by Government of the People's Republic of China to the National Transport Corporation (NTC), at the Noah Wealth Centre in Riche Terre.
In his address, Minister Bodha underlined that a wave of economic revolution is reverberating across the world and for Mauritius to benefit from it, Government has to take major decisions and acquire the means to be part of the global change. He pointed out that over the past three years, the country has experienced a steady economic growth and that the dynamic construction sector can be leveraged as an engine of growth.
He underpinned that fundamental changes in the public transport sector are in the pipeline. The Metro Express, the new National Transport Network, the Road Decongestion Programme, and the Victoria Bus Terminal are among the major infrastructural changes undertaken.
The Transport Minister emphasised that the NTC in particular being conferred almost one third of the bus routes, along with other transport service providers, will be called upon to play a major role to bring forward a modern, sophisticated, user-friendly transport system. The donation of the low-floor bus fleet will enable the NTC to boost and modernise its services. On that note, he announced that 100 low-floor buses have been bought by government and environmental friendly electric buses are also on the agenda.
He gave an overview of various initiatives being undertaken to improve the public transport services. These include: a pricing mechanism system for busfare, training of bus drivers and regional managers, renewal of bus fleet and the setting up of an academy for heavy vehicle drivers.
In his concluding remarks, Minister Bodha appealed to the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Mr Sun Gongyi, to help Mauritius to set up a replica of the Traffic Control System located in Beijing to enhance the local road traffic system.
For his part, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Mr Sun Gongyi, emphasised that the donation testifies to China's unflinching support to the Government which is clearly inclined to improve quality of life of the population. He further underlined that this donation will be a positive contribution to Mauritius in its socio-economic development programme and will help to translate its vision of bringing forth a modern transport system in reality.
The 30 new buses add up to the existing 20 semi low-floor buses donated in 2016 by the Government of the People's Republic of China.