Friday afternoon, Justice Chan Kan Cheong issued a Court Order. This followed Ledikasyon pu Travayer’s move for a Writ of Injunction against the State and the Gender Ministry, an injunction to the effect that they refrain from rebuilding the re-enforced concrete enclosure wall so as to permit future floodwater to find its usual way to the sea at GRNW, where the LPT building and LALIT headquarters are situated. The Infrastructure Ministry had drilled a 2 metre by 2 metre opening following the 30 March 2013 floods, so as to prevent a repeat of the flooding. But on Thursday 9 May, the Gender Ministry had started to re-build the wall. Ledikasyon pu Travayer and Mr. Michael Chan Chun Pong, a neighbour even more affected by the Wall, protested, and then moved for an injunction. Affidavits were sworn by LPT and Mr. Chan, and the Writ of Injunction was sought on Tuesday 21 May, in the form of either an immediate ex-parte Interim Order, or failing that, an Interlocutary Order. The Judge on the same day issued an Order, unusually saying neither “yes” nor “no” to the move for an Interim Order, but directly summoning parties for the Friday Chambers Case. The Judge then formalized in his Order the State’s undertaking not to close up the Wall, pending the continuation of the Case.
The State and the Ministries and the Municipality had all come to Court without any affidavit. The Gender Ministry and the Municipality came to Court without legal representatives.
During the informal discussion before the Judge, the engineers for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the NDU, and the LPT representative, Lindsey Collen, gave their views and arguments, while the Gender Ministry representative said the Ministry intended to open the Centre in June. Lindsey Collen requested that the Judge ask how long the Centre had already been built, and she mentioned Parliamentary Questions having even been asked about the delays. The MPI and NDU engineers came up with conflicting views, although they are in the same team. One moment they said that there was no point in not re-building the wall, because there was earth just behind it anyway, and that future flood waters would not get through. Lindsey Collen replied that the “ranplisaz” behind the wall is as new as the Wall itself and is part of the same problem as the Wall, i.e. it prevents floodwater from taking its usual “cour d’eau”. A few minutes later, contradicting their previous stand, an engineer stated that the Wall could be re-constructed above the level of the earth only, because then the floodwater would be absorbed by the half of the wall through the “ranplisaz”. Their main contention, however, is that there is an overall plan for the whole of the area, which is all to the good, and which has been actively sought by LPT for over 15 years; the point, LPT maintains, is that in addition to the big storm drains that have been promised for years now, there must be a solution for the problem of their own and Mr. Chan’s property, as well as the overall plan, certainly not instead of it.
Here is a copy of the Judge’s Order issued yesterday afternoon:
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF MAURITIUS
In the matter of
1. Ledikasyon pu Travayer
2. George Michael Chan Chun Pong
1. The State of Mauritius
2. The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare
In the presence of:
1. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping.
2. Municipal Council of Port Louis
Mr Attorney G Ng Wong Hing appears replacing Mr Attorney J M Leclezio for the applicants and files the return of service 22 May 2013.
Ms Attorney A Oogarah, State Attorney appears replacing Mrs F Moolna, Chief State Attorney for respondent No. 1 and co-respondent No 1 and moves for a postponement to take a stand.
Applicant No 1 is represented by Ms Lindsey Collen
Applicant No 2 is present
Respondent No 2 is represented by Mr A Appadoo, Planning and Research Officer who states that the Ministry will write to the State Law Office and moves for a postponement to take a stand.
Co-Respondent No 1 is represented by Mr S A Anadachee, Senior Engineer, Mr R. Rambojun, Assistant Secretary and Mr A Futloo.
Co-respondent no 2 is represented by Mr O Domah and prays for some time to retain services of legal advisers.
After an exchange of views between the parties and in light of my observations thereof, the respondents and co-respondent No 1 undertake not to proceed with the walling up of the opening made after the floods of 30 March 2013 in the enclosure wall of the property found at GRNW, adjacent to the property of the applicant no. 2
Upon hearing the parties, I adjourn the matter to Friday 31 May 2013 at 9:30 am for Mention for case to be in shape.
Chambers, this Friday 24 May, 2013
(SD) D Chan Kan Cheong, JUDGE