Merchants operating at Ruisseau du Pouce, in Port-Louis, have obtained additional time, with the assurance that their installations will not be demolished on Monday February 12, according to the words of the Lord Mayor, Mamode Issop Nujuraully. However, he clarified that the authorities have not yet decided how long merchants will be able to maintain their stalls at Ruisseau du Pouce. He added that regardless of this period, the structures will eventually be destroyed, thus emphasizing that the demolition order remains in effect.
This comes despite the merchants' appeal to court scheduled for June 24. This reprieve, granted on Friday February 9, however, in no way calms the frustration of the Ruisseau du Pouce merchants.
Mohamed Dilani strongly deplores the attitude of the lord mayor, highlighting the fact that “the town hall cannot in any way replace a court of justice”. “Following the rejection of the injunction that we filed, the Ruisseau du Pouce merchants decided to appeal and it was established that the case will be heard on June 24,” highlights the speaker.
According to him, in any self-respecting state of law, no authority has the right to go against this court decision. “All actions that the authorities wish to take must be frozen pending a final verdict from the court on this whole affair,” proclaims Mohamed Dilani.
Yousouf Beegun, who has operated at Ruisseau du Pouce since 2011, points out that the town hall's threats against merchants operating on this site in fact hide “Machiavellian intentions”, because, according to him, in the end , “the town hall wants to force us to relocate to the premises of the Urban Terminal”.
The town hall of Port-Louis has not yet communicated the deadline which was granted to the merchants of Ruisseau du Pouce, and if ever the authorities were to force the evacuation of these merchants before the date of the 24 June, there is a good chance that we should be heading towards a real confrontation.
The controversy appears to stem from flooding caused by Cyclone Belal, highlighting the importance of following the recommendations of a 2013 report which called for the demolition of structures along Ruisseau du Pouce. Merchants on site raise the question of a double standard, as the report also called for the demolition of a fast-food restaurant and a parking lot located in the same area.
Towards the demolition of structures in front of Winner's
Following the flooding of rue la Poudrière, Port-Louis, on January 15 in the wake of cyclone Belal, the authorities are considering the demolition of all structures covering the Butte-à-Thonier stream, which runs along the street of the Powder Magazine. Among them, the one located in front of the Garden Tower, including the Winner's supermarket which is located on the ground floor. A committee was set up to decide once and for all the fate of these structures. Note that the KFC of La Chaussée was also built on the Butte-à-Thonier stream, however, a lawsuit is in court. We will probably have to wait for the judgment to determine what will happen to the building, unless Pick'n'Eat, a subsidiary of the Eclosia group and owner of the KFC brand, makes a different decision.