CADES supports the Follies Project
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The hotel project on Ile des Deux Cocos in Blue Bay which had been the target of an unfavourable petition from certain inhabitants of the region, is now being supported by another group of local inhabitants because of new jobs creation opportunities.
The promoters of the hotel project have appealed to the Environment Appeal Tribunal when the authorities refused to give the go ahead because of the potential ecological risks to the neighbouring marine park. The Tribunal will render its judgement in June.
The latest supporters of this project are members of the "Comité pour L'Avenir et le Development economique du Sud Est (CADES)" that calls itself apolitical. The president of the CADES, Jean Claude Cesar, has said to the press yesterday (26th of May) that "even if the Environment Appeal Tribunal renders a verdict against the project, we shall continue our action in favour of the project in view of bringing Government to find new solutions"
M. Cesar is of the opinion that the marine park will not suffer because of the guarantees given by the promoters on the waste waster treatment and other technical aspects. According to another member of this committee, the Follies project may generate 175 jobs for the locals, and that it is only a small group of persons with bungalows in the vicinity that are opposed to this project as they stand to lose by way of loss of rent from their bungalows.
Prakash Cheekoory, secretary of the CADES has said that the committee will support any industrial investment that may contribute to the welfare and development of the impoverished villages of the South East.
Translated and adapted from: Le Mauricien, 27th of May 1999
Misleading information on the Marine Park
The "Mouvement pour la Protection du Parc Marin" of Blue Bay believes that misleading information is circulating among the inhabitants of the region. The association is not against the development of the region and is in favour of the Mahebourgh Water Front Project. But it maintains that development must not be at any cost. Its opposition to the hotel project on Ile des Deux Cocos is based upon a Canadian study done in 1995 for Government. According to this report the Blue Bay site is fragile and any further coastal development may have unwanted and negative effects upon the marine environment. The association further argues that it is better that job creation is done through the forthcoming Mahebourgh Waterfront Front project and maintains its opposition to the hotel project.
Cite La Chaux points out the one sided approach taken by the defenders of the Marine Park.
The inhabitants of Cite La Chaux, Pointe d'Esny, denounce the one sided approach taken by the Mouvement Pour La Protection Du Parc Marin in their fight against the project Follies of the Group Naiades on Ile Des Deux Cocos. They point out the fact that the extension project of the Shandrani Hotel in Blue Bay situated next to the Park has drawn no comments from members of that movement. Yet, the Shandrani Hotel will have an additional 160 rooms by the end of this year. That represents additional pressure and impact upon the marine park.
The movement has never taken position on these extension works just like it never cared to mention the deplorable state in which the marine park is said the inhabitants of the locality. Indeed, on the 30th of May, full loads of waste were removed from the lagoon by a team of volunteer divers. " For years what is called the Marine Park has been a dump in which was thrown bottles, broken plates, metal scraps and used oil drums" recall the inhabitants of Cite La Chaux. For them, there is no doubt that the marine park is no more and that pollution levels are high.
The inhabitants also point out the nearby residential complexes. " The Movement takes care not to comment about the effects of liquid waste and domestic effluents that originate from all the nearby bungalows and apartments. For the inhabitants, the marine park has become a marine cemetery.
Translated and adapted from: Le Mauricien, 4th of June 1999
" The Environment will not be affected by the hotel"
To the Editor in Chief
Following the letter of Mrs. Veronique Leclezio published in your newspaper on the 18th of May, I would be grateful to you if I could have the following comments published for the benefit of your esteemed readers.
It has never been the intention of Naiades Resorts to take over the place ( s'accaparer un morceau de la nature) as said by Mrs. Leclezio. All aspects pertaining to the protection and preservation of the environment have been taken into account in the studies done for the project and have been incorporated into the plans for the hotel. In effect, we are convinced that the environment will not be affected by the running operations of the hotel.
We also are very much aware of the importance Blue Bay beach and the Marine Park represent as far as national heritage is concerned. It has never been our intention to prejudice this heritage, on the contrary, it is in out interest and in the interest of our future clients and of Mauritians in general that we take great care of it. This is why motor based nautical sports like water skiing, parasailing and so forth will be banned while more ecologically friendly leisure activities like sailing, kayak and scuba diving will be on offer.
Furthermore, we have already taken steps to ensure that boat traffic (unlike presently) is channeled away from coral reefs by means of buoys to ensure that they are protected from the risks of outboard motors and anchors. We are very much aware of the importance of preserving the environment and this is why we are prepared to do the needful to ensure that the marine park is neither destroyed nor affected.
As for the design of the hotel itself, we have called upon the services of Mr. Mico Giraud whose expertise is widely recognised and who has integrated, in the plans, the hotel and its environment. The result will be that from Blue Bay beach, the visual aspect of the island will remain the same.
As for the inhabitants of the locality, whom we had the opportunity of meeting following an invitation from the Comite pour L 'Avenir et le Developpement Economique du Sud Est (CADES), they have assured us that they are in favour of this type of project which preserve the environment and have a positive impact on the economic development of the region.
Translated and Adapted from: Le Mauricien, 5th of June 1999