The Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) received, today, during a Handing-Over Ceremony held at the Coromandel Fire Station, 13 Trailer Mounted Pumps to the tune of Rs 20 million and 16 LPG Fired Human Incinerators, financed under the Indian Line of Credit, which was extended by the Government of India to the Mauritian Government. The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mrs K. Nandini Singla, the Lord Mayor of Port-Louis, Mr Mahfooz Moussa Cader Saïb, the Chief Fire Officer, Mr Asok K. Kehlary, and other personalities were present.
The acquisition of these high-volume trailer mounted flood pumps will enable the removal of large volumes of water (up to 5000/6000 litres per minute) from flooded areas, including inundated houses, buildings and courtyards, thus assisting in saving life and property. The Indian supplier moreover sent a team of technicians to train Mauritian firefighters to operate the equipment. The Handing-Over Ceremony was marked by demonstrations involving the operationalization of the trailer mounted flood pumps and an articulated hydraulic platform.
In his address, Vice-Prime Minister Husnoo expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Indian authorities for being actively engaged in the materialization of the projects benefiting the MFRS. India, he moreover emphasized, has always extended its support to Mauritius whenever the Island State needed it and recently during the Covid pandemic by offering vaccines despite the fact that India itself was undergoing a tough time.
The Vice-Prime Minister recalled that India readily assisted Mauritius following the MV Wakashio Oil Spill. Today, he stated, marks yet again another chapter in the Mauritius-India relationship with the handing-over of life-saving equipment, which have been manufactured in India, to the MFRS. Mauritius, he also said, has been suffering from severe and recurrent flooding almost every year due to global warming. As regards the LPG Fired Incinerators, Dr Husnoo, underscored that India is also helping Mauritius upgrade its network of incinerators by installing 16 new ones across the island which will provide an enhanced burial service.
Speaking about the MFRS, the Vice-Prime Minister noted that the firefighting service has undertaken various projects to modernize its fleet of vehicles and has recently acquired an articulated hydraulic platform which can reach up to 55 metres. He further announced the construction of three additional fire stations namely in Goodlands, Montagne Blanche and Quatre Bornes. The Vice-Prime Minister expressed confidence that these actions will enable our firefighters to deliver better service and decrease the actual response time to attend to an incident site. The safety and security of our citizens is not only high on the agenda of the Government but also remains first among its priorities, he reassured.
For her part, the Indian High Commissioner highlighted that the present ceremony is yet another remarkable event that commemorates the successful partnership between India and Mauritius and also demonstrates the competence of Indian companies in delivering Made in India state-of-the-art equipment abroad. According to her, these two projects are very special to India as they impact the lives of Mauritians across the country directly and has also given India the opportunity to assist various municipal and district councils and fire stations in discharging their responsibilities.
When we started the year 2021, remarked Mrs Singla, India provided Mauritius with Made in India Covid vaccines and on 26 January, which is the Republic Day of India, Mauritius began its vaccination campaign with the Made in India vaccines and became one of the few countries to achieve 100% vaccination of its front-liners. Today, as we near up the close of the year 2021, we are doubly delighted to end it by giving this equipment which will again strengthen the capacities of Mauritian front-liners in handling future challenges and crises, she added.
India, as special and close partner of Mauritius, has been extending assistance to the country in the crucial sector of disaster preparedness since many years, she underscored. As we wind up the year 2021, we see that the year is full of intense and robust bilateral engagements between India and Mauritius despite the Covid pandemic as a testimony to the special and unique relationship that our countries share, she said. The Indian High Commissioner also announced that next month in the New Year, India will be handing over 956 social housing units and start work on the new Civil Service’s College as well as a eight mega-watt solar energy project in Henrietta. India is also finalizing modalities to hand over the Dhruv Helicopter on lease to Mauritius pending the procurement of a new Dhruv Helicopter by the Government and provision to the MFRS of 25 firefighting vehicles in February 2022, she stated.
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