Construction of some 628 housing units to be completed by end 2016
he construction of some 628 housing units on 12 sites across the country at an estimated cost of Rs 700 m, is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Showkutally Soodhun, made the announcement at a press conference held yesterday in Port Louis during which he gave an overview of projects and achievements of his Ministry and that of the National Housing Development Company Ltd (NHDC).
He recalled that the housing policy of Government focuses not only on provision of a decent housing unit but also of a decent living environment. Accordingly the income eligibility criteria for an NHDC housing unit has been raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 monthly to enable more needy families to own a housing unit. Furthermore the Ministry is coming up with three new housing models and is planning to construct 3,548 units worth Rs 4.6 billion based on the new models on 19 sites.
The Vice-Prime Minister highlighted the achievements in the housing sector. These include: completion of 734 social housing units costing Rs 684 m; allocation of Rs 22.3 m to ensure that 41 NHDC syndics operate smoothly; provision of 410 serviced lots to families with monthly income ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000; completion of renovation works on 50 NHDC housing estates totalling some Rs 93m; and disbursement of Rs 167 m under the Roof Slab Grant Scheme for some 2,723 families.
Mr Soodhun further expressed his satisfaction that the problem of squatting has been addressed in an effective and efficient manner. Following a survey carried out all over the island, 1,174 cases of squatting on State land were registered and 441 cases have been regularised, he said.
Regarding land use and management, the Vice-Prime Minister said that a new planning legislation aiming at consolidating all scattered laws relating to planning under one legislation will be introduced by February 2017. He also added that a new Policy Framework for the allocation of State lands is being implemented by the Ministry. The lists of Leases of State land being allocated are being published on the website of the Ministry in a spirit of transparency.
Speaking on the Land Administration, Valuation and Management Information System commonly known as (LAVIMS) the Vice-Prime Minister pointed out that the system, through the issue of some 33,640 Parcel Identification Numbers, has generated Rs 34 m.
Another topic covered in the press conference was hydrography, which is called upon to play an important part in helping the country tap the ocean resources through enhanced marine information base. Mr Soodhun pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrography between the Government of Mauritius and the Government of India has been renewed for a further period of five years (2015-2020).
To date, some 27 hydrographic surveys have been carried out in the Mauritian waters and seven navigational charts were produced, contributing to enhance navigational safety. A sum of Rs 1.1 m has been earmarked for the production of seven additional charts.