The Metro Express project already has legions of detractors-the opposition parties, the trade unions and the public. You’d think it was such an egregious project if you listened to the seditious statements about it. For example, some people are saying the government will not be able to pay for the project. And how on earth would they know that? Why would the government even think of starting the project if they wouldn’t be able to pay for it? It’s contradictory remarks like that that make me question the relevance of their ‘concerns.’
First of all, people who were born in the 90s and the 2000s have seen the country stuck in limbo- this pre-development stage where infrastructure has stayed the same, where the roads are in such a disastrous state that drivers always have to remain aloof, where progress is tantamount to nothing. That’s right, nothing major has happened to boost confidence in the ‘development’ myth. The Metro Express project is basically the first infrastructure/transport project of its kind to emerge in decades. Despite all the bluster and the ballyhoo, no one can deny the fact that Mauritians have been yearning for a proof of development, for a proof that the government cares about their future. What better way to show this than to finally improve the transportation system?
Of course, there are those who are arguing that the advent of the Metro Express would be redundant since the Port-Louis-Curepipe trip would take 40 minutes, which is a tad bit longer than when commuting by car. Of course, it seems ludicrous that the government would greenlight a project that wouldn’t necessarily be time efficient but we’re forgetting a crucial aspect of it, there will be 20 stops between the starting point at Port Louis and the final destination at Curepipe. Not only is this an ambitious project that could solve some of our direst transportation problems like traffic jams and gridlocks but it will accommodate literally thousands of people on a daily basis!
For those who are obsessing about the financing of this project, which will amount to 17 billion rupees, well thank god you’re not responsible for finding that money. It turns out India is pouring in 10 billion whilst the company that’s been set up specially for the financing of the project, Metro Express Ltd will be responsible for covering the other costs. And the saddest part isn’t all that baloney that’s being fed to us, it’s the fact that this project will take at least four years to realize. Four long years! In the meantime, all we can do as ‘proponents of progress’, is hope that it does see the light so that our public transportation system can finally be thrust into the modern age.
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