Following the government’s decision to put the Heritage City project on hold, News on Sunday has sought the views of a few youngsters on the subject. How do they welcome the news?
Junglee Dhanish: “Existing towns need an upgrade”
“An engineering student at UTM, Dhanish Junglee says the project, which was said to include government offices, hotels, commercial spaces, apartments, townhouses, villas and the Heritage Square plaza, was indeed a great one. Ignoring all the speculations that have been around lately, my view on this project remains neutral. I am a young engineering student constantly exposed to innovation and I would love to live in this type of green city one day. The Heritage City was designed to have three main entrance and exit roads, namely, M2 Motorway, St Pierre bypass and Trianon link road. However, existing towns need an upgrade. We should consider solving the housing problem, water distribution, the upgrading of road infrastructure in existing towns and villages. Now is not the time for Heritage city, though it is a suitable project for Mauritius.”
Keshav Gokhool: “Invest in people not in buildings”
An aspiring graphic designer, Keshav Gokhool says he is always in favour of innovation but he is glad that the Heritage City project has been discarded, before it even started, as it was not something that would benefit the entire Mauritian population. “At first I was really thrilled about the project because as I saw it, Mauritius was entering a new era of technology and modernisation. But as the months passed by, I had my doubts; I asked questions such as: How much time it will take? Where will the government get the money to finance it? Will the project be viable? Of course I want my country to prosper but I don’t like the idea of my country becoming heavily indebted. The government should instead focus on the people and mostly youngsters as they are the future but nowadays, we have many youngsters and fresh graduates who don’t have jobs. I stayed at home for almost one year after completing my studies. I think that the government should invest in people instead of a project that is unlikely to succeed. The government should invest in projects that would benefit all Mauritians.”
R. Pari: “We don’t need a new Parliament”
An accountant in the private sector, R. Pari speaks of “Melodrama and Facts of the Heritage City”. “We are living in a world where human beings are not seen as one. It’s just a world of mere façade where we can see that there is corruption happening every day. Mauritius has lost its credibility and Mauritians cannot see the so-called “paradise” prosper anymore, due to bad decisions taken by some of our leaders. Whilst we have our National Assembly, our leaders are thinking of building a new one. How to finance this? Why should poor people suffer? No jobs for graduates, no water for common people in many areas, no activities for the youth, rising prices, etc. Our leaders should rather concentrate on development through investment in biofarming, blue economy, road decongestion and also fight poverty.”
Deepika Tetarie: “We have other priorities”
A project coordinator in the private sector, Deepika Tetarie feels that the Heritage City is beneficial to the country’s economic development but asks if it is really needed for the moment. “Safety first before luxury! I feel it is more important for the government to sort out road safety issues first. Heritage City is great when it comes to the modernisation of Mauritius but definitely, it’s not the right moment now. So much time is being wasted in arguments. We should rather find solutions to other pressing problems. Modernisation of Mauritius is bound to happen one day or another but we definitely have other priorities to take care of. As a youngster, I am very thrilled at the idea of a modern technological city but at the same time, I prefer that my country devotes its resources to other things that need urgent attention for the greater of the public good.”
Manish Ragoobeer: “I was doubtful about its success”
An accountant in the private sector, Manish Ragoobeer says that dreams towards modernity appear to be a long journey. “Heritage City was a great move for the economy which would have yielded a substantial rate of return. Modern offices for the ministries, business hotels, residential units, entertainment centres, etc would have been our pride. However, the success of the project itself was a big question mark. I was doubtful whether the project would have been a successful one. I would say it’s more of an embarrassment for the government. Investment should be more concentrated on real issues.”
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