PNQ SUR LA RING ROAD

PNQ

Paul Bérenger réclame une commission d’enquête sur des cas de spéculation foncière


 PNQLa PNQ du leader de l’opposition, hier, adressée au ministre Bachoo était axée sur la Ring Road. Paul Bérenger a demandé à ce dernier  d’obtenir de la Road Development Authority des informations suivantes : le coût estimatif de la phase I, en indiquant comment le consultant a été choisi ; si son rapport sur les dommages causés à celui-ci sera rendu public; qui a effectué le test du sol à cet  effet; comment  l’entrepreneur a été choisi ; qui va financer les réparations de la route et le mur de soutènement ; quelles sont les mesures prises pour protéger les habitants vivant dans cette région et quand la phase II débutera?  Il a aussi demandé à ce dernier s’il y a eu de la spéculation foncière à cet égard?

Dans sa réponse le ministre a déclaré que les travaux de la première phase ont coûté Rs 1,2 milliard et que la Phase II démarrera à la fin de cette année et devra coûter la somme de Rs 10 milliards, dont Rs 775 millions pour le seul volet du forage du tunnel sous la Montagne des Signaux. S’agissant des travaux de réparation, le ministre des Infrastructures publiques a précisé que les travaux nécessaires doivent être  entrepris par les contracteurs de Rehm-Grinaker/Colas dans les meilleurs délais et qu’ils devraient être complétés fin juillet. Son ministère fera même appel à un ingénieur pour des travaux de vérification, a-t-il ajouté. Quant au rapport soumis par les consultants égyptiens sur le projet, il dit être déjà en possession et qu’il attend l’accord  d’Arab Consulting Engineers pour le rendre public.

Le leader du MMM s’est dit étonner du rôle passif de la RDA dans la mise à exécution de ce projet. Il a aussi fait part du danger que représente le mur de soutènement le long de la route pour les habitants de Pailles. Paul Bérenger a réclamé une commission d’enquête sur les spéculations foncières dans le cadre de ce projet.



 

Lire la PNQ intégralement

RING ROAD PROJECT – DAMAGES

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr P. Bérenger) (by Private Notice) asked the Vice-
Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport
and Shipping whether, in regard to the Ring Road Project, he will –
(a) for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Road Development Authority,
information as to –
(i) the estimated cost of Phase I thereof, indicating –
A. how was the consultant therefor chosen, indicating if his report on
the damages caused thereto will be made public;
B. who carried out the soil tests therefor;
C. how was the contractor therefor chosen;
D. how will the repairs to the road and the retaining wall be financed;
E. what supervision was exercised by the Authority;  
F. what measures are being taken to protect the inhabitants living in
the vicinity thereof; and
(ii) when will Phase II thereof start; and  
(b) state if there has been land speculation in relation thereto.  
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development
Unit, Land Transport and Shipping (Mr A. Bachoo): Mr Speaker, Sir, the Ring Road project
has, over these past few weeks, unleashed quite some passion in terms of comments and
criticisms from different quarters. The question put into the National Assembly today serves as a
platform to shed light on the whole issue, and to dissipate any misconception which the different
comments may have provoked.
I wish to inform the House that the estimated cost was established as far back as in 2008,
and it stood at Rs950 m.  The Central Procurement Board carried out an open international
bidding exercise, culminating in the award of the contract to Joint Venture Rehm
Grinaker/COLAS on 03 November 2009 for the sum of Rs1,159,766,870.57. The works started
in January 2010, and were practically completed on 31 January 2013.
Regarding part a (i) A of the question, Mr speaker Sir, I have to inform the House that the
consultant for the review of design and supervision of the Port Louis Ring Road – Phase 1 from
Montebello to Guibies was selected by Central Procurement Board as per procedures laid down
in Public Procurement Act, namely an advertisement was published for an Expression of Interest
to shortlist potential consultants in March 2008, followed by an invitation to the shortlisted
consultants to submit proposals. The following consultants were shortlisted by CPB –  
1. Egis BCEOM International
2. Gibb (Mauritius) Ltd
3. C.Lotti & Associatti/Luxconsult (Mtius)
4. Arab Consulting Engineers Moharram-Bakhoum
5. KV3-SJPCE Joint Venture
6. GHD Pty Ltd.
The consultancy services contract was awarded to Arab Consulting Engineers on 30
December 2008 for a total sum of Rs34,011,000.
Mr Speaker, Sir, following the practical completion of the project on 31 January 2013,
there is a Defect Liability Period of one year during which both the contractor and the consultant
continue to fulfill certain obligations. As part of its contractual responsibility, the consultant
carried out two inspections of the Ring Road, the first one in September 2013 and the second one
in January 2014. During the second visit between 20 and 24 January 2014, he reported that
unusual cracks were observed at one specific section of the Ring Road stretching over some 75
metres. The consultant notified the contractor of this observation and requested him to identify
the causes and to propose remedial actions.
In the meantime, this same stretch of road showed signs of further deteriorations.
Consequently, the consultant was called upon to further assess the situation. On 17 March 2014,
the consultant submitted a preliminary report on the road collapse wherein he indicated the
possible causes of the collapse and requested that the contractor should do some further soil tests.
The consultant mobilised again from 24 to 28 March 2014 to follow up an action taken
by the contractor. He produced and submitted a report to RDA wherein he laid emphasis on the
obligations of the contractor to complete the reconstruction works within a given time frame, that
is, 31 July 2014. In due course, the report may be made public, that is, as soon as the parties
concerned would have agreed on the reconstruction works.
As for part (a) (i) (b) of the question, the soil tests were carried out by Consulting
Engineering Services of India in 1998. Subsequently, during the review by Arab Consulting
Engineers, further soil tests were carried out in 2009. As in normal practice, confirmatory tests
were carried out by the contractor as part of his contractual obligations.
Mr Speaker, Sir, in respect of part (a) (i) (C), I wish to inform the House that the
contractor for the Construction of Port Louis Ring Road – Phase 1 from Montebello to Guibes
was selected by the Central Procurement Board as per procedures laid down in the Public
Procurement Act, namely an International Specific Procurement Notice was published for
prequalification of potential contractors on 12 June 2009 followed by an invitation to the
prequalified contractors to submit bids. Five contractors were prequalified by the Central
Procurement Board.
Thereafter, on 07 August 2009, bids were invited from five prequalified contractors by
the Central Procurement Board. Three bids were received, namely from –
• Joint Venture General Construction Co. Ltd./Group Five (Mauritius) Ltd.
• Joint Venture Rehm Grinaker/COLAS, and
• Joint Venture Gamma/BCEG
The Central Procurement Board approved the award of the contract to the Joint Venture
Rehm Grinaker/COLAS. It must be emphasised, Mr Speaker, Sir, that the firm Rehm Grinaker
and COLAS constitute a Joint Venture and therefore, they are jointly and severally bound to
honour the contractual obligations. I am informed that Rehm Grinaker is the lead partner of the
Joint Venture.
Mr Speaker, Sir, it must be pointed out that the damaged section of the road, containing a
reinforced earth wall, was designed and built by the contractor. Therefore, clauses 49.2(b) and
49.3(b) of the FIDIC Conditions of Contract apply when it comes to the party which should bear
the cost of the repair works. In this case, the contractor should bear the costs. The consultant has
already notified the contractor of the latter’s responsibility under the contract.
Mr Speaker, Sir, as for part a (i) (E), it is to be noted that the Road Development
Authority has two contracts for the Ring Road project. The first one is the consultancy contract
concluded on 21 January 2009 between RDA and the Arab Consulting Engineers acting as
Engineer for the project on behalf of RDA. The second contract is the works contract, dated 15
January 2010, entered into between RDA and Joint Venture Rehm Grinaker/COLAS and the
RDA acts as the employer.
Under the consultancy contracts, Arab Consulting Engineers have the following main
responsibilities –
• To assume entire responsibility for tender documents of the project.
• To carry out full supervision of the construction as the Engineer (and not
Engineer’s Representative) on behalf of the Road Development Authority as per
practice where complex projects are involved.
• To delegate a competent and experienced Resident Engineer on a full time basis
in Mauritius with full powers to administer the contract on his behalf (ACE).
• To ensure that the construction of the works is carried out in accordance with the
contract drawings and documents.
• To ensure that the contractual clauses, whether related to quality or quantity of the
work, are respected.
• To ensure the necessary measurements and control of quality of works.
• To take all engineering decisions required during the implementation of the
contract.
• To certify and recommend payments.
The responsibilities of the Road Development authority are the following –
• To act as coordinator with various stakeholders such as Ministries and service
providers.
• To provide land for construction and solve land acquisition issues with private
owners and even in court.
• To attend meetings and follow progress of works and solve bottlenecks wherever
applicable.
• Upon recommendations of the Engineer (ACE) to approve additional costs,
extension of times, variation orders and fixing rates and prices.
Mr Speaker, Sir, a tripartite meeting was held on 04 March 2014 involving RDA as
employer, Arab Consulting Engineers as consultants and Joint Venture Rehm Grinaker/COLAS
as contractor, RDA stressed on the need to properly protect the inhabitants in the surrounding
area. For that matter, RDA directed the contractor to arrange for appropriate safeguards to be
placed and even for security services to be provided on the subject site. As at date, that part of
the Ring Road is closed to traffic and pedestrians and security services are being provided round
the clock.
Mr Speaker, Sir, as for par (a)(ii) of the question, I have to inform the House that, Phase
II of the Ring Road is a component of the Road Decongestion Programme earmarked for
implementation under a Public and Private Partnership mode. The procurement process for the
project has reached a very advanced stage and as at date the final decision to award has not yet
been taken.
Mr Speaker, Sir, of late the world has witnessed dramatic changes in climatic conditions
which have given rise to numerous calamities such as flash floods, landslides and so on. This
being the case and reckoning with the fact that Government’s prior responsibility is to protect
human life and property, and notwithstanding the fact that Government has already invested
billions of rupees in drainage infrastructure, further funding may need to be redirected to such
projects as construction of drains, widening and dredging of rivers, etc., to ensure protection and
security of population.
This is bringing Government to consider reviewing the Road Decongestion Programme
Project as conceived because of the heavy financial investment required, which could burden the
country financially.
However, Mr Speaker, Sir, notwithstanding the outcome of the review, I can assure the
House that Government will, without fail, implement Phase II to enable Government to meet its
decongestion objective as well as provide an alternative southern entrance to Port Louis which
will prevent a repeat of what happened in March 2013, by allowing traffic to enter or leave Port
Louis without hindrance.
Works may start this year.
Mr Speaker, Sir, as regards part (b) of the question, I am informed by the Ministry of
Land and Housing that the process of land acquisition has been fair, transparent and accountable
based on the provisions of Land Acquisition Act.
Mr Bérenger: We can start with the first point, that is, the cost of Phase I. The hon. vice-
Prime Minister reminded us that the project was awarded to Rehm Grinaker/COLAS for Rs1.2
billion. Can I know how much has been disbursed to date, whether there are claims pending – I
have heard of more than Rs150 m. of claims – and whether retention money is involved?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, as at now, it is Rs1,361,792,007.35 which had been
disbursed. Secondly, definitely, we have got retention money; it is Rs28 m. plus Rs10 m. which
makes Rs38 m. and then there is a bank guarantee of about Rs115 m.
Mr Bérenger: Well, I did not hear whether there were claims already put in by the
contractor.
Mr Bachoo: No. As far as I am aware, no additional claim had been put by the
contractor.
Mr Bérenger: As far as the consultant is concerned, is the hon. Vice-Prime Minister
satisfied with what we have seen up to date, that the consultant that was chosen had the
experience required for that kind of work, had the established reputation required for that type of
work?
Mr Bachoo: Well, Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, expression of interests was invited and that
was an international tendering process. After the expression of interests, there was a shortlisting
of those consultants and, after shortlisting, they were found to be the most fit. Unfortunately, I
will not be in a position to comment on the decision taken by the Central Procurement Board, but
I am told that they had followed the work properly.
Mr Bérenger: I have heard that changes were brought to the original design of the Phase
I project, as designed by an Indian firm. Was there a change in design brought by the consultant?

Mr Bachoo: Sir, in fact, this project dates back to early 1970s.  The first firm was
SETEC, is a French company. They had conducted the feasibility. The second was appointed as
far back as 1993; it was the DHV International from UK and they had prepared the detailed
design. After that, in 1998, it was the Consulting Engineering Services (CES) India. which was
appointed by the then Government to work out not, in fact, on this, but rather to put up a link
between Moka and Ring Road Phase I and they had come forward and reviewed the entire
system. They had reviewed it, but not changed the design. They had kept the design standard the
same. There was a change in the alignment by CES India, but not by the consultants who were
appointed later.
Mr Bérenger: Concerning the consultant still, his report we are awaiting, the hon. Vice-
Prime Minister has told us that the report might be made public after a lapse of time. Has the
consultant put in his final report or is it an interim report that has been received to date and does
that report which has been received concern both the road and the retaining wall?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, I have received the latest report which is available
to me and I have no objection in making it public but, unfortunately, I wonder whether the
contractors have received this report. There is no confidentiality clause as such, but there is a
possibility that if I do not ask the permission from the other side, they may go for arbitration and
we may have difficulties. So, I would request the hon. Leader of the Opposition to bear with me.
I am going to get the permission and next week I am going to submit a copy of the report on the
Table because, as I have just mentioned, I want transparency at all cost in this particular project.  
Mr Bérenger: As far as soil tests are concerned, are the hon. Vice-Prime Minister and
his Ministry satisfied that soil tests were carried out in that part of the road which has suffered
damages and that the soil tests were carried out as they should have been? Finally, who will carry
the responsibility if it is established that soil tests were not carried out adequately?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, the first soil test was carried out by CES India and
thereafter the consultants had looked into it. I also asked this question several times and I was
told that the entire responsibility is on the contractor because that part of the road was designed
and built according to the FIDIC system of work.   It is the entire responsibility of the contractor
to look into it. I am informed by the technicians of my Ministry that the soil tests were
adequately carried out and the contractor had also reconfirmed all the tests.  
Mr Bérenger: If I can move on to the contractor, can I know whether the offer of Rehm
Grinaker/COLAS was the lowest offer?
Mr Bachoo: This is what I was made to understand.  
(Interruptions)
Mr Bérenger: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Vice-Prime Minister saying that the
contractor carried out changes in the design. Am I right in saying that even if that change in
design was carried out by the contractor, that the consultant approved that?
Mr Bachoo: I am sorry, Sir, that change in the design was not carried out by the
contractor. As far back as when the CES  was appointed, they had made certain revisions and the
contractor had nothing to do with the change in the design. The contractor was responsible to
design part of the road and that is the 75 metres which has fallen down.
Mr Bérenger: Again referring to the contractor, I heard the hon. Vice-Prime Minister
saying that Rehm Grinaker – as far as I know, in law, we have a contractor, a consortium, Rehm
Grinaker/COLAS. Therefore, can I know what the hon. Vice-Prime Minister means when he
says that the lead partner – in law what does that mean – is Rehm Grinaker, especially so that
recently in the press we have seen a lot of articles referring to Rehm Grinaker only, as if COLAS
had been out of the picture? Can I know from the hon. Vice-Prime Minister what does he mean
exactly in law when he says that Rehm Grinaker is the lead partner?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, I have mentioned that both are jointly responsible and both
will have to face the consequences in case of any type of failure. But, according to the contract I
have read, for communication purpose and to handle the contract, Rehm Grinaker is the lead
partner. This is what is mentioned in the contract and that is why I have mentioned it. But both of
them are equally responsible for any problem which has occurred in that part.
Mr Bérenger: We are being told by the hon. Vice-Prime Minister that he wishes to make
the report from the consultant – final, I take it – on damages that the road and the wall have
suffered. He hopes to make it public in the near future. Is there, at least, that I hope the hon.
Vice-Prime Minister can tell us, in the consultant’s report an estimate of how much it will cost
for the road and the retaining wall to be repaired properly?
Mr Bachoo: In fact, the consultant has not mentioned; the consultant has given directives
to the contractor in the report and has reminded him that his sole responsibility is to make good
all these losses, failing which, the contractor will be held responsible. This is what I have read in
the morning when I got the report.  
Mr Bérenger: There is no estimate at this stage? As far as the RDA is concerned, I heard
the hon. Vice-Prime Minister putting all the responsibility on the shoulders of the consultant and
keeping the RDA out of the picture, as far as I could understand.  
When we were discussing the Bagatelle Dam, Mr Speaker, Sir, the hon. Deputy Prime
Minister, replying to a Private Notice Question some months ago, laid heavy emphasis on the
fact that his Ministry would follow closely, would monitor closely both the contractor and the
consultant. Do I take it that nothing of the sort happened in the case of this Ring Road Phase I
and that the RDA played hardly any supervising role?
Mr Bachoo: Yes, Mr Speaker, Sir, it was according to the contract and that is why I have
made it a duty to read out parts of it that they are only acting as coordinators between the various
stakeholders. They provide land and they have been attending meetings. But, in fact, according
to the contract – I am just quoting the contract – the RDA has been the employer, the proprietor
and the entire responsibility, according to the contract, was on the consultant and it was the
consultant who acted, in fact, as engineer responsible for the whole project.
(Interruptions)
Mr Bérenger:  Mr Speaker, Sir, as far as the part relating to measures being taken to
protect the inhabitants living in the vicinity thereof, I hope the hon. Vice-Prime Minister did
what I did, that is, visit not only that part of the road that has crumbled, worst than crumbled, but
also the wall; clearly the whole wall from that part of the road that has crumbled right up to the
bridge, a long stretch, the whole wall is a danger.  I must say, Mr Speaker, Sir, standing there, I
was worried.  I did not stay very long because you could indeed feel threatened by this wall.  It is
not just the part where it has given in, but the whole thing is finished now!  You have inhabitants
living down there.  Are the hon. Vice-Prime Minister and his Ministry satisfied that the
contractor is doing all that is required so that if heavy rains return and we have bad weather that
this wall will give in massively and that it will be a real danger to the inhabitants?
Mr Bachoo:  Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, I may say that the contractor has barricaded the
entire region and has provided some security services.  But instructions have been given to the
contractor as far back as 19 February, that after seeking clearance from the insurance company
the contractor should take measures to remove the top fill to avoid further collapse.  We have
already given that and conditions have also been laid on him. Besides, in the report also, the
consultant has reminded the contractor, and has warned him, that the contractor will be
responsible for any injury, loss, inconvenience, annoyance to persons, damage to animals,
properties and works consequent to probable collapse of the road.  We have already reminded the
contractor and we have given him enough time and if the contractor continues not to attend to
those important issues then, definitely, we are going to take decision that needs to be taken.  
Mr Bérenger: As far as the Phase II is concerned, I think I heard the hon. Minister say
that Government is reviewing the whole of the decongestion programme and so on, but
nevertheless I think I heard him say that work on Phase II will start this year.  Can I know what
is the estimate, at this point in time, of the cost of Phase II including the tunnel, the compulsory
acquisition of the houses and so on?  On the other hand, it’s going to be massive.  Do we have at
this stage an estimate since we are being told that work on Phase II will start this year?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, well, I would like notice of this question because I was not
prepared for that, but, in fact, we have got the cost estimate available for Ring Road Phase II.
Mr Bérenger: As regards the last part of my question, Mr Speaker, Sir, we have been
informed by the Minister – the Minister of Housing and Lands is absent – that all procedures for
compulsory acquisition have been done as per the law.  That is not my point.  Of course, if
people have speculated, they will have bought land before with insider information.  They will
have bought land before the Ministry of Housing and Lands is involved in compulsory
acquisition. There is a lot of stories around. There is a lot of dirt thrown around; to clear the
whole matter, will the hon. Minister agree to ask the hon. Prime Minister to appoint a
Commission of Inquiry chaired by a respected, retired Judge of the Supreme Court to look into
all these land transactions prior to compulsory acquisition by the Ministry of Housing and
Lands?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, I am being told that everything was done in a fair
and transparent manner, but if there is any foul play, any such case that needs to be investigated,
then the matter has to be escalated to the higher quarters.  
(Interruptions)
Mr Speaker: Hon. Dr. Sorefan!
Dr. Sorefan: Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir.  I just heard the hon. Minister saying that the
consultant Arab Consulting is the supervisor for this project and he has given a list of all the
scopes of work of that consultant. Can the hon. Minister inform the House how come the RDA
has invited the same consultant to give a report on the work that the consultant, himself,
recommended the RDA to pay? That’s one, and…
Mr Speaker: Only one question!
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, that is the responsibility of the consultant. We have
appointed a consultant, we have paid him a huge sum of money and the consultant has to see to it
that the work is properly executed, firstly, and secondly, in fact, they have been able to locate the
problem. They know the problem very well and now, it is the duty of the consultant to advise
RDA what needs to be done in order to make good the losses and in all such big projects, the
consultant has to be held responsible.  In addition to this, we have already started procedures to
appoint, from our side, an engineer once the work is done so that the engineer can look into the
issues, even on our behalf, to make assurance doubly sure that no mistake is committed.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Baloomoody!
Mr Baloomoody: Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir. With regard to the measures taken to
protect the inhabitants, as rightly pointed out by the hon. Leader of the Opposition, this retaining
wall is a real source of danger for the inhabitants and, up to now, I can confirm and inform the
hon. Minister that the contractor has not taken any action to protect the wall from falling. In fact,
I think that the hon. Minister should take it on himself to take actions and not wait for the
contractor to come because it is a real source of danger. Immediate action has to be taken.
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, I sincerely and honestly agree with the hon. Member.  We
have been reminding the consultant that action needs to be taken against the contractor. The
report has already been submitted.  I hope, in the days to come, the work has to start or else
definitely, as a responsible Government, we have to come in.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Fakeemeeah!
Mr Fakeemeeah: Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir.  Can the hon. Minister confirm the impact
of the Ring Road on the flooding that affected the capital, more specifically Canal Dayot in
March 2013?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, there was the Singaporean Consultants who were in
Mauritius after the flood and nothing was spelt out; there is no connection with the Ring Road
and the flood affected regions.
Secondly, we have other consultants who are working for us, local consultants, who have
not been able to establish any link between the two.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Jugnauth!
Mr Jugnauth: For such kind of major projects, there is an obligation to carry out a risk
matrix, especially when it is at the foot of the mountain and the consultant has found out that
there is montmorillonite clay, that is, when there is water it expands like a sponge and when
there is dry weather it contracts.   
Now, will the hon. Minister say whether that risk assessment has been conducted?  If yes,
can he lay a copy on the Table of the National Assembly and, if not, why has it not been
conducted? For the Ring Road Phase II this risk matrix has been conducted, may I know if that
has been done for this one?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, I am aware that a full feasibility study was undertaken and
the EIA also. The consultant has prepared the EIA and all the detailed engineering designs were
presented before we proceeded with the project.  That much I am aware of and, as far as the risk
is concerned, I have not heard; I hope that my officers are going to give me the information.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Uteem!
Mr Uteem: Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir. With regard to the retaining wall, the same
design has been used elsewhere – Caudan and Verdun.  May I know from the hon. Vice-Prime
Minister whether he has asked any consultant to make a survey to see whether these other places
where we use the same design face the same risk?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, in fact, the contractors have not only constructed 75
metres. I know they have constructed almost 2 km under that design, their own design. We did
not have any problem in other places except 75 metres and secondly, we are not in a position to
say whether the wall is responsible or whether it was the backfill materials. So, I am just waiting
for the final examination results to be out so that we will be in a position to know exactly what
needs to be done at that place. We are for the time being concentrating on that particular lot.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Guimbeau!
Mr Guimbeau: Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir.  Can the hon. Minister confirm to the
House that both Rehm Grinaker and COLAS will pay hundred percent of all repairs and not the
taxpayers?
Mr Bachoo: According to the contract, they are bound to pay and I have in my
possession a letter which I can submit a copy where the contractors – both of them – have jointly
agreed that even if the cost goes beyond what the insurance company is going to pay, they will
have to meet the cost.  I have got a copy of the letter which I am submitting.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Ganoo!
Mr Ganoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, some years back when this project was announced publicly,
the hon. Minister answered a PQ in this very House and he said that the estimated cost of the
Ring Road Project I would cost around Rs960 m.  Today, he has told the House that the final
cost will be around Rs1,360 billion nearly Rs1.4 billion.
Can he explain to the House what are the reasons that caused the shooting up of this
project and whether the RDA approved all the additional costs?
Mr Bachoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, yes, in fact, it was the estimated cost, but when the tender
was invited and then the award was made, it was more than that. I have already announced in the
House if there is an escalation in the cost, and I am going to give you the reasons –
(i) money had been used for the failure of the slope stability in the mountainous zone
and remedial measures thereto;  
(ii) restitution of the existing accesses affected by the construction of Ring Road;
(iii) review of structures in view of prevailing geotechnical conditions;
(iv) additional measures for flood control from the mountains;  
(v) diversion of services affected by the project, and  
(vi) variations – in fact, there was no cost involved in variations as such.  
For the slope stabilisation and restitution of existing accesses, 45.6% of the additional
sum was used and, for review of structures in view of prevailing geotechnical conditions, 31.6%
of the sum was used.   
So, that was a very dangerous area and we are bound to take additional security
measures.
Mr Speaker: Last question, hon. Leader of the Opposition!
Mr Bérenger: We have dealt today with the Phase I and we have seen the mess that we
are in. I put a question about Phase II.  In the meantime, we have seen what happened in the
underpass on Place du Quay and so on. People lost their lives.  I am very disturbed that the hon.
Vice-Prime Minister could not give us an indication of the costing of phase II, although he said
that work is to start this year.  Can I ask him whether he has in mind how much the tunnel, from
the end of Phase I to the other side of the mountain, is estimated to cost and whether he will give
the guarantee that there will be no safety problems after what we have seen à la Place du Quay
with the underpass, but also in phase I of the Ring Road project?
Mr Bachoo:  Mr Speaker, Sir, I am sorry because that is a PPP project.  That is the
problem; all is lumped into one and it is a bit difficult for me to decipher exactly how much each
one is costing.  I am informed by my officers that the Ring Road Phase II plus the tunnel will go
up till Rs10 billion.
(Interruptions)
R10 milliards!  Ring Road Phase II plus the tunnel including A1 and M1, that is, the bridge.  But
that is a PPP project.  
(Interruptions)
Mr Speaker, Sir, it is a PPP project.  There are two main components, that is, A1 and M1, that is,
the bridge, that connects Coromandel to Sorèze and secondly, the Ring Road that contains the
tunnel also of 775 metres.  So, all these lumped, it may go up to that.  That is the reason I have
stated that we have to review, being given that the project is very costly.   
Secondly, the hon. Leader of the Opposition raised a question regarding security.  I can
assure the House that maximum is being done to see that everybody who will use that tunnel will
have no problem of security.  
Mr Speaker:  Time is up!