At the laying of the foundation stone of the Plaine Verte Sports Arena, yesterday, the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, affirmed that enhancing the quality of life of the population underpinned Government’s initiatives and projects, being deployed across the island.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo; the Acting Lord Mayor of the City of Port Louis, Mr Daniel Georges Jean Augustin; and other personalities were also present at the ceremony.
According to Mr Jugnauth, the sports arena, under construction to the tune of Rs 150 million and financed by the Republic of India, is testimony of Government’s pledge to engage in, and implement, project for the benefit of the people of the country. He informed that the new sports facility, which would be completed by January 2024, would provide residents of Plaine Verte, in particular young people, with separate gyms for men and women, and a plethora of activities. These would include squash, volleyball, badminton, futsal, martial arts, and pool.
Stressing the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the country, the Prime Minister reiterated his call for all Mauritians to practise physical activities like walking, underlining that exercises and a good balance diet contribute directly to better health and well-being of the individual. “Having a healthy population would also enable Government to reduce the budget allocated for health as well as enable the population to cut their spending on medicals and medicine,” he averred.
The Prime Minister also underpinned the efforts, sacrifice, discipline and work of Government in achieving its main objectives before the end of its mandate by late 2024. He deplored, though, the impacts of the COVID-19 and of inflation which are increasing the cost of various construction materials, forcing Government to review its target of building some 12,000 social houses to 8,000. However, he informed that some 400 units of these social houses would be erected in Arsenal and Tombeau Bay to accommodate vulnerable families of Plaine Verte and its vicinities.
On another note, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the Muslim community for their contribution to the development of the country. He announced that a Monument would be set up in Plaine Verte to commemorate the arrival of the first Muslims in Mauritius. He stated that the symbolic Monument would help to preserve history for, and spread the knowledge to, the future generations.
For their part, both Vice-Prime Minister Husnoo and Acting Lord Mayor Augustin put forward the various projects undertaken and in the pipeline for the Port Louis region. While the Vice-Prime Minister dwelt on the numerous endeavours and renovations totalling some Rs 300 m in the Plaine Verte area, the Lord Mayor spoke of the Rs 1.2 billion dedicated to the welfare of the citizens of Port Louis.