Port Louis: Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth inaugurated the Metro Express line from Rose Hill to Reduit, and thanked India for giving resources and knowledge to construct the biggest railroad project, Le Matinal reported.

On Sunday, Mauritius PM with other political leaders made their first trip on the metro to mark the official start of the operation Metro Express line from Rose Hill to Reduit covering a route of 3 to 4 kilometres. This inauguration is part of the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mauritius and India.

According to the Mauritian-based newspaper, the PM had travelled to the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), in Moka, with other dignitaries including the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism and Indian High Commissioner to Mauritius, to take part in a celebration for the formal opening of the Rose Hill-Reduit Metro Express line.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, PM Jugnauth emphasized that the new Metro Express line was the biggest railroad project carried out outside of India with resources and knowledge from New Delhi.

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian High Commissioner to Mauritius for their assistance in helping Mauritius undertake the Metro Express project.

He also said that despite many difficulties in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government's vision for a modern and inclusive Mauritius is taking shape, among other things, through the Metro Express project, according to Le Matinal.

The fourth phase of the Metro Express project, which will be implemented and stretch roughly 10 to 15 kilometres from Reduit to Cote d'Or through St. Pierre, has already received funding, according to Prime Minister Jugnauth.

In his speech, he also noted that apart from the Metro Express line, the new Supreme Court, the new ENT Hospital, the Civil Service College, the new Forensic Science Laboratory, as well as a sizable number of social housing units were also sponsored by the Indian government.

The Mauritian populace, the prime minister continued, has warmly embraced this new stage of the nation's economic development. He claimed that every day, up to 55,000 commuters take advantage of the Metro Express, a cutting-edge, effective, and environmentally responsible method of transportation. An additional wave of commuters will benefit from the Metro Express service once the 3,4-kilometer Rose Hill-Reduit line begins commercial operations today, Le Matinal quoted him as saying.

Jugnauth also said that a master plan is being prepared to expand the Metro Express project nationwide to both urban and rural areas because social justice and inclusiveness are top priorities for the government. He added that the Metro Express will eventually run primarily on clean, renewable energy sources and will help the nation from both an environmental and financial standpoint. He expressed his gratitude to all the parties involved for completing this project quickly.

PM Jugnauth said that the Mahatma Gandhi station is a testament to Mahatma Gandhi's role in the educational liberation of the masses in India and Mauritius.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Alan Ganoo indicated that the project is an exceptional one as it is regenerating the transport sector and has upscaled the public transport system in Mauritius. The project, he stressed, bears testimony to the friendship between Mauritius and India. He also commended the Indian Government for all the support extended to Mauritius in the implementation of the Metro Express project. According to him, the project is in line with Government's vision to decarbonise the local public transport system.

The Indian High Commissioner, Nandini Singla, for her part, commended all stakeholders involved in the Metro Express project.

The extension of the Metro Express from Reduit to Cote d'Or will be funded by a grant of USD 25 million and a line of credit worth USD 300 million from India, according to High Commissioner Singla.

She continued by saying that this next phase would further alter not only the Mauritian landscape but also the lives of its citizens, reported Le Matinal.