Balaclava Beach: Restricted Access to Public

9 years, 5 months ago - January 19, 2013
For years, swimmers and fishermen benefited fully from the beach of Balaclava and had free access. However, since November, these users had their activities disrupted. The privatization of the path is the cause.

To reach the beach of Balaclava, swimmers and fishermen used to use a road that provides access to the public beach. However, since November, a barrier metal is cringe. "The Grand Mauritian Hotel, which is located just off has placed a barrier," says a regular at this beach, reassembled. 

Limited their right of way, fishermen say they suffer from this obstacle. They say they no longer able to work. "They put a small gate to let us through. But sometimes, the door remains closed. Therefore, we can no longer indulge in our daily activities. However, fishing is our livelihood, "protested a fisherman worried. 

Those who had the habit of lounging on the beach - which is declared public - are furious. "We, the citizens of Mauritius, we can not enjoy our beach, they are foreigners who benefit. It is inconceivable, if the locals can enjoy our beach area, where should we go? The construction of the hotel has already taken some of the beach. Now they want to take us all that we have left? This is unacceptable! , "Says one bather. 

In addition, with this barrier, the people who came to the beach must now park their vehicles at the roadside. "The road is narrow. Now, if we have to leave our vehicle away from the beach, it exposes us to risks of damage and burglary, "said another frequent visitor. 

"The land is private" 
Asked by The Daily Challenge, Marketing and Communications Manager of The Grand Mauritian Hotel, Bhoyroo Ron explains that the implementation of this barrier is "the recommendations of the Health and Safety laws and ... construction companies are required responsible for any incidents that may occur on private land ... " 

He says, moreover, that the Grand Mauritian Hotel acted legitimately placing this barrier, because the land that bathers and fishermen borrow to get to the public beach was a private road. "This land is private, the access issue does not arise. The authorities concerned have been informed, "he says. Marketing and Communications Manager supports more than this is not the owner of the private land to grant a right of way and stressed that the small door remains open to give access to the renovation work of Le Grand Mauritian. 

The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), meanwhile, said he was "skeptical". "Indeed, the public should have a right of way for access to the public beach," revealed an officer of the institution. Following the inspectors visit the place for a firsthand observation, the officer informed us that the MTPA will investigate. "This is the Ministry of Housing and Lands who leases his land. We are currently in contact with officials to understand why there is no access provided to the public. We are still awaiting replies from the department. The investigation is ongoing, "says the officer. The ministry, no information was provided to us despite our numerous requests. 

De facto privatization 
MTPA leaves also hear that the hotel has advised that the access door to the beach Balaclava is open from 6 am to 18 hours. "The fact that this gateway is controlled, it does not mean he not the owner of this hotel has made this beach their property? "Wondered Daily Challenge. 

At the Beach Authority, an officer confirms that all beaches in Mauritius are public. "The public has a mandatory right of way, even on the beaches leased to the hotel." "Is there an application of a law of two weights, two measures in this case? "Wonder fishermen Balaclava. 

What the law says 

Selon la « Pas Géométriques Act’’  qui a été édictée en 1807, sous l’administration française, par le général Decaen :
• (1) The reserved lands along the sea coast commonly called the ‘Pas Géométriques’ shall form part of the ‘domaine public’ and be inalienable and imprescriptible. 

• (2) Subsection (1) shall apply to such ‘Pas Géométriques’ as have reverted or may revert to the State by cession, surrender or otherwise. 

• Selon la section 3 (1) sur le « Breadth of Pas Géométriques» : “The breadth of the ‘Pas Géométriques’ shall be reckoned from the line of the seashore which is reached by high water at spring tide, and shall never be less than 81 metres and 21 centimetres. 

• La section 3 (2) de la loi stipule que : “The boundary line of the ‘Pas Géométriques’ shall, as far as the locality admits, be parallel to the lines of the coast considered as a whole and without regard to its small Irregularities ». 


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