- Work as part of a RES project singled out
- The promoter would not have an EIA permit
In a letter dated February 4, MP Osman Mahomed, MP for constituency no. 2 (Port-Louis Sud-Port-Louis Centre), alerts PPS Sandra Mayotte and Subhasnee Luchmun Roy, as well as the Chief Executive of the municipality of Port-Louis and the CEO of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Ken Poonoosamy, on the situation prevailing in Sorèze. “Several roads were badly damaged after the heavy rains during the passage of cyclone Belal on January 15,” he points out.
Referring to the “irritation” of residents, Osman Mahomed explains that according to information obtained on the ground from them, earthworks are the source of the problem. “The normal flow of water has been seriously disrupted due to obstructions in the existing cut-off drain at the foot of the mountain. According to residents, this situation results from earthworks carried out by the promoter of a RES project. He had undertaken earthworks and leveling work on his plot of land located nearby in order to obtain a building permit,” continues the MP.
According to him, at a time when the Sorèze region and other districts of Port-Louis, located in a “coastal squeeze” between the mountain ranges and the ocean, need more drains at the foot of the mountains, this can only make things worse. “Clogging existing diversion drains, as is allegedly happening here, can only compound the devastating effects of storm waters on road and drainage infrastructure, as well as properties,” it points out. light.
Osman Mahomed reports that for the moment, he went to Kingfisher, Rouget, Flamboyants, Capitaine, Babonne and Marlin avenues. According to him, some of these roads are currently impassable. The deputy plans to undertake other visits to Sorèze. He appeals to the authorities to take this case seriously. “We need to clean these drains before the next rains to avoid further damage. I also request the opening of an investigation to take the necessary measures to remedy the situation. If it is indeed these works which are at the origin, it is not the taxpayers who must pay, but the developer,” insists the MP.
According to residents, the roads have been cleared, but the large cavities in the bitumen remain and represent a potential danger. “We alerted the authorities several times. We talked about this work in the region. We did earthworks to change the appearance and topography of the land to make it appear that we could build there. This resulted in the obstruction of drains,” we deplore, while indicating that land in the region is prized.
A “site visit” soon
Contacted in relation to this case, the Lord Mayor indicates that this problem is not limited only to Sorèze, but concerns several places in Port-Louis. “I took note of the situation in Sorèze. I am planning a site visit with my team next week. I hope that a solution will be found as soon as possible to quickly resolve the problems caused by heavy rains. It is essential to repair the damaged streets, but also to see if we can widen the drains to allow more efficient evacuation of water during torrential rains. A visit will allow us to better understand the situation and implement appropriate solutions as quickly as possible,” says Issop Nujurally.
No EDB approval for works
The developer did not obtain a permit for the project, which concerns Paradis de Soreze. This information was confirmed by the Economic Development Board (EDB) at Défi Quotidien. According to one of the organization's criteria, the promoter should have carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which was never done. Consequently, no certificate authorizing the work was issued to the developer.
An application had, however, been submitted to the EDB under the Real Estate Scheme (RES) by the developer for the Paradis de Sorèze project. “The developer has not obtained any approval for the work. In 2014, a request was submitted under the RES scheme. The EDB issued a 'letter of approval' with criteria to be respected, including the EIA. In the absence of an EIA, the developer has not received any green light to pursue the project,” says Sachin Mohabeer, Deputy CEO of the EDB.
A formal notice was served in 2018
In November 2018, 12 residents of the Sorèze region served a formal notice on the promoter of the “Paradis de Sorèze” project. They asked Deepak Tulsidas, the main shareholder of the project, to restore the site so that it does not represent any risk for the inhabitants of Morcellement Aloès during the rainy period. They also wanted the drains, which had been blocked during the work, to be cleaned.
As a reminder, the Paradis de Sorèze was to be a project of 13 villas, with a “jogging track” and a “wellness center” on an area of 7 acres and 8 perches, in Sorèze.