Mauritius aims to deliver quality social housing units
Stakeholders involved in housing projects gathered in the presence of Showkutally Soodhun for a discussion pertaining to quality housing for NHDC projects, at a cost of Rs 1.2 billion. (Image: gov.mu)
Mauritius aims at delivering quality social housing units and, under this initiative, a meeting was organised on 26 May 2015. At the meeting, contractors and consultants appointed for the ongoing National Housing Development Company Ltd (NHDC) housing projects gathered in the presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Lands, Showkutally Soodhun.
Showkutally Soodhun highlighted: “We have to work together as a team – public officers, consultants, contractors and stakeholders – to provide decent and good quality houses to vulnerable groups, and we must exercise due professional care in fulfilling our respective responsibilities.”
The objectives of the meeting were to enable Showkutally Soodhun to meet with the stakeholders, take stock of the situation, and present the way forward for the construction of social houses.
The social housing project amounts to Rs 1.2 billion and some 13 contractors and four consultants are presently working on the project.
At the outset, the Vice-Prime Minister expressed his dissatisfaction on the deplorable state of some 5,283 NHDC houses on 59 sites where rehabilitation works to an estimated cost of Rs 443 million, are being carried out to improve housing conditions.
He stated that both officers of the Ministry of Housing and Lands and NHDC as well as contractors and consultants were responsible for this state of affairs. “These mistakes will not be repeated as we will closely monitor the situation”, he firmly stated.
The Vice-Prime Minister also highlighted the measures taken to reduce unnecessary administrative burden and get rid of some of the red tape, to ensure rapid work execution on social housing.
There was also discussion on issues previously faced in the construction of social housing units where contractors and consultants do not respect norms and standards of quality, contractors bid low despite the fact that work cannot be completed, and construction delays occur, therefore, such contractors and consultants will be blacklisted and barred from engaging in future government contracts.
Finally, future projects relate to government’s vision for building 10,000 housing units within five years. By June 2016, some 3,000 houses will be completed and the Minister solicited the collaboration of contractors and consultants for that endeavour.