District meeting |26 May 2023
Cascade residents learn about housing plan for the district
Given housing is a major concern in all districts, the Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, was requested by President Wavel Ramkalawan at the start of the public meeting at Cascade yesterday, to explain to the residents on the housing plan the ministry has for the district.
Addressing a packed community centre, Minister Rangasamy said with the opening of Dan Zanblon housing estate recently, the second phase of the district’s 24 housing units will commence in September this year to be completed in September 2024.
He noted that the third phase will start in February 2024 and be completed by 2025 during which another 24 housing units will be built.
With regard to the mid-range condo at ex-tarmac, the 32-unit project will start in September 2023. There are also plans for a housing project at Brillant and a road project at upper Petit Paris, under the Indian grant, that will allow for further housing development in the district. At the moment, the number of active housing applicants is 78 among whom 27 whose applications date more than 10 years. There are 28 applicants for mid-range condos while 87 are land applicants.
Speaking of the challenges faced by the Property Management Corporation (PMC), Minister Rangasamy said that given its 50 staff and the many challenges, the corporation is doing its utmost to assist the 5000 families in the 414 flats scattered in the 145 housing estates across the country.
He said that the corporation is expected to spend R35 million in renovation of infrastructure which will include improvement in sewage system.
Compensation for nearby residents affected from tar activities by the department of Land Transport was the first question put to the president yesterday and referring the question to the elected member of the National Assembly, Phillip Monthy, all of the residents have been paid except for three members of one family, among whom three have passed away which the case is being viewed by the Attorney General’s office for other members to receive their part on their behalf. He noted that an exercise will be being carried to identify people who were not supposed to receive the compensation but have received the money including those who were supposed to get compensated but were not paid.
With regard to buying small pieces of government land encroachment, President Ramkalawan said that government is working on a strategy to sell those lands to applicants who wish to build for members of the family. He noted that this will also help to prevent the housing list to get longer.
On the possibility of a day care centre at the Cable & Wireless site at Cascade, President said that given the building is near the river which overflows during heavy rain, it is not appropriate for a day care centre. He added that another area will be made available for a day care centre.
On the question of State House reversing a decision given by the Supreme Court, President Ramkalawan said that his office cannot interfere in any decision taken by the court other than the person taking steps to appeal against the decision in court.
Also at the start of the meeting, President Ramkalawan informed the inhabitants that the steps taken by the police in the fight against drug in known hot spots around the country and which is continuing, following his order on Tuesday evening, has up to now bore fruits with several arrests made.
He noted though that there had been some resistance and to which the police had no option but to fire warning shots to send the message that they mean business.
He called on the population to cooperate with the authority to eliminate drugs in the country.
Also at the start of the meeting the residents were advised on a new question format of one question per person subject to asking further questions, if time permits, to allow for more people to interact with the president on issues of concern to them.
President Ramkalawan also took the opportunity to encourage young people to take the opportunities of jobs available on the outer islands.
It is to be noted that there will be no public meeting today and the next one will take place on Saturday at the Bel Air community centre starting at 3pm.