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Friday, 25 January 2013 12:00

Light Rail System – The Countdown Starts

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On the cards for almost two decades, the Mauritius Light Rail Transit System (MLRT) project is seeing light long last. Before the end of this month, technicians from Mauritius and Singapore will sit down to finalise the project, prior to the floating of the international expression of interest scheduled for mid-February 2013. Shortlisted pre-qualified bidding firms will be able to participate in the tendering exercise in September 2013. Works, scheduled to start by October 2014, might last 5 years.
Prof Koshik Reesaul, Principal Engineer at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, has been designated to lead the Mass Transit Unit (MTU). “We want the MLRT to be a sustainable and viable project to be bequeathed to the future generations of Mauritius, as well”, says Dr Reesaul. The MLRT will not solve traffic congestion on its own but will accompany a series of strong public transport policies and traffic restraint measures in the main urban centres.
The MLRT project is being implemented in collaboration with the Singapore government, through the Singapore Corporation Enterprise (SCE), which is providing the following services: (i) the determination of a feasible alignment for all LRT corridor between Curepipe and Port Louis (ii) an economic analysis, including financial structuring for the project, (iii) the development of the concept and preliminary design stage to generate market interest in the project from relevant parties and to initiate calls to offers encrypted, and (iv) a thorough assessment of a possible extension to the north and south of the corridor Curepipe – Port Louis.  It is after an official visit to Singapore by Prime Minister Dr Navin Ramgoolam in September 2010 that SCE was approached to assist in sharing the Singapore’s experience and expertise in the implementation of MLRT system.

The total cost of the present consultancy services for the MLRT project is Rs 180 million. The outcomes will then determine the construction costs of the MLRT. However, sources indicate that this time the project is firmly on track as the government is determined to go ahead.

Yousouf Buglow

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