Yesterday, 78 members of households living in asbestos houses in Cité La Chaux, Mahebourg met in the social centre in the area for an assembly of the Joint Committee of EDC housing inhabitants – LALIT (South).
Two weeks ago, a delegation had gone to the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) to meet with their MP, who is also the Housing Minister, Mahen Jhugroo to ask him for a meeting to discuss when and how asbestos housing will be removed and replaced by safe housing.
The government is responsible for building the asbestos housing that families in 59 EDC housing estates, including EDC houses in Cite La Chaux, live in. The government took the decision in 2015 to remove and replace asbestos houses, but since then, there have been no announcements on when this will go ahead. In the last two budgets, no provision has been made for this.
The Minister of Finance is announcing this coming budget in June. EDC inhabitants in different areas of the country are calling on their MP's to ensure that provision is made in the budget for the removal and replacement of asbestos houses.
In Cite La Chaux yesterday, inhabitants voted a motion that a letter be remitted today to the Housing Minister's secretary at the CAB to invite him to a meeting at La Chaux Social Centre either this Wednesday or next Wednesday to discuss when and how asbestos houses will be removed and replaced with safe housing. Inhabitants also rang two radio stations to announce this action and call on the Housing Minister to meet with the Committee.
Inhabitants of Cite La Chaux are angry with the politics of the government: Around Cite La Chaux, there are various housing projects for the rich organised by the Beau Vallon sugar company group now branching out in real estate – luxury villa estates for billionaires. There is a PDS (Property Development Scheme) project on 170 arpents in Pointe D'Esny, a shopping mall, a kitesurfing company and private school being built. The government has given multiple tax concessions for this kind of real estate agricultural land destruction (see http://www.lalitmauritius.org/en/newsarticle/1799/all-the-dangers-lurking-behind-the-ldquosmart-citiesrdquo-strategy/) Yet while all this project is going ahead full-speed, inhabitants are still waiting for government-built dangerous asbestos housing to be removed and replaced with safe housing.