Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurate new airstrip and jetty at Mauritius’s Agaléga Island

Team India Sentinels Thursday 29th of February 2024 08:58 PM

Narendra Modi (R) with Pravind Jugnauth. (File photo)

New Delhi: In a virtual ceremony, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the prime minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, jointly unveiled an airstrip and a jetty on the Agaléga Island in Mauritius, on Thursday. The collaborative efforts between the two nations aim to enhance connectivity, bolster maritime security, and drive socio-economic progress in the Indian Ocean region.

The newly inaugurated airstrip and jetty, named Saint James Jetty, will bridge the gap between mainland Mauritius and Agaléga, facilitating smoother transportation and trade links. Additionally, six community-focused initiatives were launched, emphasizing sustainable growth and improved quality of life for Agaléga’s residents.

This milestone event gains further significance as it closely follows the recent introduction of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and RuPay Card services in Mauritius.

India and Mauritius’s Agaléga Island. (Google Maps)

Speaking at the ceremony, Jugnauth hailed the occasion as historic. He expressed gratitude to Modi for elevating the Mauritius-India relationship to new heights. The joint inauguration symbolizes an exemplary partnership, promising a brighter future for both nations.

During the event, Jugnauth said, “Setting up of the new airstrip and jetty facility in Agaléga is the fulfilment of yet another Mauritian dream,” and lauded India’s contribution to entirely finance the project. He lauded Modi’s strong leadership and statesmanship across the world and underlined that the Indian diaspora has established itself as a global powerhouse of values, knowledge, and success.

Read also: Is India building a secret military base in Mauritius’s Agaléga?

Jugnauth of Mauritius announced that Mauritius has become the inaugural country to embrace the “Jan Aushadhi Scheme”. This pioneering initiative enables the procurement of approximately 250 high-quality medicines from India’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau. By doing so, Mauritius aims to enhance healthcare accessibility for its citizens, ensuring access to affordable and effective generic medications.

Agaléga Island. (Google Maps)

Jugnauth expressed his gratitude to Modi for his instrumental role in realizing transformative projects. These initiatives not only bolster the nation’s capabilities in marine surveillance and security but also align with Mauritius’s broader development objectives.

During the event, Modi underscored the robust and exceptional relationship between India and Mauritius. He said this was his fifth meeting with the Jugnauth in the last six months, which is proof of a vibrant, strong, and unique partnership between India and Mauritius. He said that Mauritius is a key partner of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy and a special partner under “Vision SAGAR”.

Agaléga airstrip (Google Earth)

Modi said, “As members of the global south, we have common priorities, and the last 10 years have seen unprecedented momentum in the relations between the two countries and new heights of mutual cooperation have been achieved.” On the old language and cultural ties between the two countries, the prime minister recalled the UPI and Rupay Card that have provided modern digital connectivity to the relationship.

The prime minister revealed that, over the past ten years, India has provided a $1 billion credit line and $400 million in aid to the people of Mauritius. He expressed his pride in India’s contributions to Mauritius’s development, including metro lines, community projects, social housing, an ENT hospital, a civil service college, sports complexes, and other infrastructure.

Agaléga’s Saint James’ Jetty. (Google Earth)

He further conveyed his satisfaction at fulfilling a 2015 promise to the people of Agaléga by constructing a new airstrip and jetty. These improvements, he explained, will enhance connectivity between Mauritius’s northern and southern regions, strengthen administrative links with the mainland, and facilitate medical evacuations and school transportation.

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