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Judgment in “Miray Martin” Case, LPT v. The State

31.10.2013


A settlement was reached before Judge David Chan in the Supreme Court today in the case of the Writ of Injunction that LPT brought in protest against the re-walling up of the wall that the State had broken open after the wall contributed to aggravating the severe 30 March floods of the Grand River North West area where the Ledikasyon pu Travayer and LALIT premises are.

The case came to known as the “Miray Martin” case, playing on Gender Minister “Mireille” Martin’s first name and the wall, in Kreol “miray”, which engineers had constructed blocking the natural flow of floodwaters from the flood-prone Canal Dayot area of the Royal Road out of Port Louis towards Beau Bassin.

The State has agreed to build a ramp on the pavement outside the LPT property, and sloping into its driveway to keep out floodwaters, as well as re-enforcing the bottom of LPT’s gate, in order to water-proof it. This will be done at the expense of the State. There were no costs claimed either way. LPT’s stand on the question of once again blocking up the offending wall around the Gender Ministry Building was “to take no stand”. The reason LPT refused to take a stand of “not objecting” to closing up the wall is evidently that, although the two proposed alterations will certainly help in minor floods, the entire question of the drainage of the area during major floods remains intact.

“We cannot agree to blocking up the wall that, after all, blocks a natural water-way during floods,” Alain Ah-Vee said outside the Supreme Court.

Lindsey Collen added, “This is probably the best we can expect from a Writ of Injunction. It is not really feasible for a judge in Chambers to resolve what are essentially engineering issues, especially when the issues are those where errors have been made by Ministries, that is to say the Executive Branch of Government.” She said that the socio-political issue of “construction sauvage” will still need to be tackled politically, in order to prevent future flooding of the entire Royal Road at the only road out of Port Louis towards Beau Bassin, Petite Riviere, Pte aux Sables and Albion, as well as in many other parts of the country.

At the very same time, with the rainy season approaching, inhabitants of Canal Dayot have expressed their very real concern because drain construction works in the area have not been completed. During last Tuesday’s session of the National Assembly, the Minister of Works gave a rather vague answer to a parliamentary question by Hon.V. Baloomoody, MP for the constituency, on this issue saying lamely that the drainage works stopped because the government is still negotiating to get an agreement with the proprietor of a plot of land near Canal Dayot.

Lawyers in the case for LPT and LPT’s neighbour, Mr. Michael Chan, were Jean-Claude Bibi and Jean Marie Leclezio.