Letter #2 to Minister of environment
AKNL addresses a second letter to Hon. K. Ramano, the newly-appointed minister of environment, solid waste management and climate change.
Their first letter to minister K. Ramano having remained unanswered, AKNL sends another one with some additional information about the project proposed by West Coast Leisure in Bel Ombre, south coast of Mauritius.
This time AKNL is pinpointing how the promoter is taking benefit from a loophole in the regulations regarding the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The trick consists of breaking-down big projects into smaller ones, announced at different stages (generally once the main ones have been received clearance). These separate projects being smaller, they are spared from EIA procedures, a fairly constraining procedure as long and costly, that allow savvy citizens to enter objections to the certificates. This trick has become common practice since AKNL started challenging EIAs in court.
In that case, the initial project was one of a 33-suite boutique hotel to which was later appended a 42-villa real estate project and wellness centre. Real estate projects under the Property Development scheme (a legal framework facilitating real estate developments), of less than 50 units are automatically exempted from EIA procedures even if located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA).