There was an unusual presence at Trou aux Cerfs on Monday September 19. A tractor and a PAD & Co. Ltd van could be seen. Some employees were also at work. They are working to define a perimeter of 523 meters that should be completed within a week. After that, the work for the construction of a new weather radar will start.
The work will last for two years and the entry into operation of this equipment is scheduled for 27 August 2018. By then it could be possible that the Trou aux Cerfs access is closed to the public. A decision should be taken soon by the city council of Curepipe.
Mayor Nathalie Gopee says, “nous allons installer un panneau pour avertir le public que des travaux sont en cours.” And once the perimeter where the work will be carried out is completed, the council members will visit the site for an analysis. “Nous déciderons alors s’il faut vraiment fermer la moitié du site pendant deux ans ou le fermer entièrement au public pour plus de sécurité,” said the first magistrate of the city of light.
A source in the areas concerned has recommended joggers to not use the part of the route of Trou aux Cerfs where work is in process. The site will in fact be under the control of the project contractor, in this case the Japanese company Shimizu Corporation and its local partner PAD & Co. Ltd. Mayor Nathalie Gopee explained that the City Council had a meeting with them on 4 August.
“Notre compagnie a déjà travaillé avec des firmes japonaises dans le passé. Nous sommes le partenaire local de Shimizu Corporation, qui est une grande compagnie de génie civil du Japon,” suggests the managing director of PAD & Co. Ltd, Alain Hao Thyn Voon. However he declined to give more details.
Four Japanese engineers are currently in Mauritius for this project led by Japanese Project Manager Masataka Tanimoto. PAD & Co. Ltd has 60 people on the site. According to a source, it is expected that six other Japanese engineers come to Mauritius. “Shimizu Corporation et PAD & Co. Ltd vont se charger de la partie de génie civil et électrique uniquement. La compagnie Marubeni Corporation s’occupera des équipements.”
The Japan International Cooperation Agency made a donation amounting to Rs 387 million for this project, following the signing of an agreement between Mauritius and Japan in 2013. In response to a parliamentary question from the member Sudhir Seesungkur on July 6, the Prime Minister had indicated that four new automatic weather stations will be added to the eight which are already operational since March 2015.
This will bring the number of stations in Mauritius to 26 and 3 in Rodrigues. Sir Anerood Jugnauth also indicated that 15 experts in climate predictions will be recruited at the National Weather Service. The director of the weather service was also contacted but in vain.