Please do not destroy our public parks. Submit Metro Express Project to an EIA.

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Please do not reverse progress

This petition is in support of the letter sent by 270 Lavwa/270 Voices to the Chief Executive of the Municipality of Beau Bassin Rose Hill on 14 December 2017 and signed by 140 residents as at that date. This letter raised questions about the social, environmental, cultural and economic impact of the Metro Express on the lives of the inhabitants of Beau Bassin Rose Hill. This will happen during the construction phase and the operation phase.

1.       To date there is no information on the detailed tracé; about disruption to utilities - water, electricity, telephone and internet; about traffic and pedestrian access; about the pollution and nuisance that will people will suffer from; about the loss of Promenade Roland Armand and Jardin Bijoux; about the impact on local businesses and jobs. Such planning information should be part of the process of deciding on the Metro Express. It should be part of evaluating its benefits and its costs, now and in the future. There is no information about whether and to what extent the Metro Express, an urban transport system, will reduce road congestion and air pollution from urban transport.

2.       In Mauritius we have made some progress in passing the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). It includes measures to take into account economic, social and environmental impacts before taking decisions about any major project. The EPA stipulates that most major undertakings have to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). They have to comply with conditions imposed in their EIA licence, if approved.

  •  In the case of the Metro Express project, there has been regress. The EPA has been amended so that Metro Express Ltd does not have to submit an EIA. The information requested by the inhabitants is what normally should have been in the EIA.

3.       The questions asked in this letter apply to all the towns and neighbourhoods along the tracé. The concerns that are raised apply to the whole of the Island of Mauritius, looking now and in the future as we become more urbanised.

4.       The Republic of Mauritius has signed and is committed to attaining United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030.  Among the 17 interconnected goals of  Agenda 2030 of the SDGs,   Goal 11 is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” (« Faire en sorte que les villes et les établissements humains soient ouverts à tous, sûrs, résilients et durables »). (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/)

  •        The Goal has several elements, among which addressing  the adverse environmental impact of cities: air quality; safe inclusive and accessible green and public places, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons and people with disabilities; positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening planning.
  •        There will be regress in meeting the goals with the loss of Promenade Roland Armand and Jardin Bijoux:  In their present state, they are more than a jogging track on which there are a number of trees.
  • There will be a reduction of the average share of the built-up area that is open space, safe, inclusive green and public spaces, accessible to all.
  • There will be irreversible, irreplaceable  loss of a space that has unique values,  when there is already an acute shortage of such spaces, vital to our social cohesion and well-being. 

Progress is about the right of access to information about the matters that govern our lives, as individuals and as a society at all levels- family or household, neighbourhood, town.

Progress is about democracy and freedom to participate in taking decisions. Making progress is about rising to the challenge of tackling together the social, economic and environmental challenges of the modern age.

You can learn more about the 270 Lavwa/270 Voices movement here.

 



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