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4 EDB Newly Approved Construction Projects Spark Environmental Fears



4 EDB Newly Approved Construction Projects Spark Environmental Fears
Image source: Defi Media

In 2024, the Economic Development Board (EDB) has approved four new construction projects along the Mauritian coast, sparking concerns about the pressure of urbanization and its environmental impacts.

The projects include hotels, luxury apartments, and residential developments, which have raised ecological concerns and criticism.

The first project is led by Amirek Holdings Ltd, a local company specializing in real estate development. The company has acquired a 63,843 square meter plot of land from the state and plans to build a hotel complex and residential blocks.

The project will also include an desalination unit to meet the complex’s water needs. Financing will be provided by the promoters, who rely on local investors for support.

The second project concerns the establishment of a luxury apartment complex by LP Residences Ltd on the west coast of Mauritius, specifically in Wolmar, Flic-en-Flac, in the Rivière Noire district.

The project site covers 1,886 square meters and will feature 45 units (37 apartments and 8 penthouses) spread across five blocks. It will also include a 429 square meter pool and 54 parking spaces.

The third project is led by Anahita Beau Champ Ltd, which aims to divide a 78,845.20 square meter plot of land into 39 lots, each equipped with roads, drains, services, and landscaping. This is part of the Anahita Beau Champ Smart City project at Flacq, covering an approximate area of 279 acres and bordering the tourist area of East and Bel-Air/Rivière-Sèche.

The site is located on the former Deep River Beau-Champ sugar cane field and power station.

The fourth project approved in 2024 is a mixed-use development plan by South West Safari Group Ltd, aiming to develop a 170,274 square meter plot of land.

The plan is including residential (including low-to-mid-cost homes, medium-density duplexes, and high-density apartment blocks), commercial zones, social and recreational areas, and development under the Property Development Scheme (PDS).

The first phase of the project will involve dividing a 53,531 square meter plot into 85 residential lots.

This will also include providing and constructing necessary infrastructure and utilities, including water supply networks, electrical and telecommunications networks, roads, and drainage systems.

While these projects have been approved by the EDB, there are strict conditions that the promoter must strictly adhere to.

According to generally applied conditions, any authorized developer must submit all necessary permits and authorizations from competent authorities to the Ministry of Environment.

Additionally, the development must be carried out in accordance with measures outlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and supplementary information submitted unless otherwise indicated in this document.

The department must be notified in writing of the commencement date of work on-site for monitoring purposes.

The promoter must ensure that existing roads are maintained and kept free from mud and construction materials at all times.

Any damage caused to classified roads during construction must be immediately repaired by the promoter at its own expense to the satisfaction of authorities.

In other cases, the promoter must take measures to prevent contamination of nearby water resources by taking steps such as planting trees, shrubs, and grass instead of heavy engineering solutions.

Joanna Bérenger, an MMM MP, has been emphasizing for years the importance of integrating Environmental Sensitive Areas (ESAs) into legislation.

She stated that an ESA can evaluate the cumulative effects of projects on a region, which according to her is a more complete approach than an EIA focusing only on a specific project.

She cited an example of an ESA that has been well implemented in Rwanda’s National Land Use and Development Master Plan 2020-2050.

She criticized government policy on real estate development and expressed concerns about how projects are managed and their impact on local communities.

“It is not surprising to hear the Minister of Finance admit that he does not know the exact number of young Mauritians who have left the country while being perfectly aware of the number of foreigners who have applied to settle in Mauritius,” she said.

She denounced “an excessive focus on short-term profits and direct foreign investment at the expense of local interests.”

Source: Defi Media

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