A new Hydrographic chart of Rodrigues Island and the first one of Le Morne were handed over, on Friday 8 January 2019, to the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, by the High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Mauritius, Mr Tanmaya Lal, during a ceremony held at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
The Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, the Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, the Commanding Officer of Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sarvekshak, Captain Peush Pawsey, and other personalities were also present.
In his address, the Minister Mentor highlighted that the event marks the completion of nautical surveys carried out by INS Sarvekshak since December 2018. He expressed gratitude towards the Indian Government for its continued support in the conduct of hydrographic surveys in the Mauritian maritime zone as well as for the assistance extended to set up a Mauritian Hydrographic Unit. Since 2009, recalled Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Indian Navy vessels have also been carrying out surveillance and joint patrolling of the Mauritian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as deterrence to piracy and illegal fishing.
The Minister Mentor observed that the last hydrographic survey for Rodrigues was undertaken more than 150 years ago. Hence, he stated, the nautical charts that have been handed over will be of significant importance in charting out the development of Rodrigues. Mauritius, he emphasised, is determined to make of the ocean economy a new pillar of wealth creation, and in this endeavour, hydrographic data will help Government to make the best decisions for the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources.
For his part, the Indian High Commissioner underlined that India is proud to be a partner in the efforts of Mauritius to develop hydrographic charts. These charts will ensure safety with regards to maritime navigation in Mauritian waters and the EEZ, he pointed out.
According to Mr Lal, during, updated hydrographic surveys are critical for the development of various aspects for the sustainable development of the Mauritian economy. A total of eight navigational charts and 10 electronic charts have been prepared to cover Mauritius and its islands since the start of Indo-Mauritian collaboration in this sector, he indicated. The updated navigational charts will further contribute to the safety of stakeholders navigating in the region, he added.