Business News/ Industry / Infrastructure/  India to complete fourth phase of Mauritius metro project by end 2024

New Delhi: India is on track to complete the $550 million Mauritius Metro Express project by the end of 2024, according to persons aware of the matter. 

The project, launched in 2017, has been progressing at a record pace, with construction contracts awarded to Indian infrastructure behemoth Larsen and Toubro. Financial support for the metro comes from a mix of grant funding and a Line of Credit provided by India.

Phase 3 of the project, which connects Rose-Hill to Reduit, was inaugurated in January 2023. Phase 4, extending the line from Reduit to Cote d'Or, is slated to commence soon with completion targeted for late 2024. India will further contribute a $25 million grant and a $300 million Line of Credit.

According to India's High Commissioner to Mauritius, K. Nandini Singla, over 14 million Mauritians have used the metro, with daily ridership exceeding 45,000. Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) has also been involved in the project, providing consultancy services.

The metro, India’s first such project in Africa, underscores New Delhi's commitment to bolstering economic development and connectivity in strategically positioned island nations like Mauritius, which forms part of the Indian Ocean strategy. 

India has conducted similar ‘railway diplomacy’ in Mozambique. During his recent visit to the country in April, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar rode in a train that was procured by Mozambique under an Indian-funded Line of Credit (LoC).

The development also comes on the back of increased naval and economic competition with China as New Delhi and Beijing vie for influence in the region. In 2019, China and Mauritius had signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was billed by some as a major step forward for Beijing’s Indian Ocean strategy.

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Updated: 10 May 2023, 12:48 PM IST
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