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Only 34 Drains Completed Out of 968, NDU Slacking



Only 34 Drains Completed Out of 968, NDU Slacking
Image source: Le Mauricien

Out of the 968 drain projects planned by the National Development Unit (NDU), work has only been completed on 34 of them, amounting to 4% of the total projects at a cost of Rs 457 million.

This means that residents in high-risk areas have not been able to benefit from the adequate drains in time for the 2022/23 financial period.

Despite an allocation of Rs 14.8 billion for this purpose, progress has been slow.

The NDU had aimed to construct 325 drain projects annually under the National Flood Management Program.

As for the Small Community Development projects, India provided a grant of Rs 45 million for 11 identified projects. However, none of these projects have started due to poor planning.

When it comes to drains in High Risk Flood-Prone Areas, the NDU has also fallen short of its goals with only 12% of drains completed over the past three financial years.

In October, 15 projects were allocated under Emergency Procurement, with 10 projects still in the design stage.

These projects include work on drains in Ruisseau-du-Pouce, Mgr Leen region in Port-Louis, La-Butte, Les-Salines, and Canal Dayot, among others.

The Additional Outlet project from Place-d’Armes to Caudan, managed by the Road Development Authority (RDA), is still in the bidding stage.

Work is ongoing at 14 other sites in Bambous, Cité-Roma, and Riche-Terre. The report lists issues with underperforming contractors, canceled tenders, land acquisition problems, delays in design submissions, and clearance issues.

The Drain Infrastructure Construction Ltd (DICL) has also failed to meet its objectives in addressing flooding issues in various regions.

Out of the 55 projects allocated in 2021/2022, 26 remain incomplete, while 17 are still in the design stage, focusing on regions like Vallée-des-Prêtres and Baie-du-Tombeau.

Additionally, 33% of projects under the local authorities have not been implemented yet.

Furthermore, an audit has found violations of the Public Procurement Act as there are no procurement contracts signed for 64 contracts allocated between July 2020 and September 2022.

These contracts involve road construction and community-based projects. The NDU allowed contractors to carry out work despite the absence of these contracts.

There have also been issues with incorrect base prices for bitumen payments by a contractor, leading to claims against the NDU.

Source: Le Mauricien

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