Please Save the Champ de Mars!

I believe the Champ de Mars, being of such historical importance and beyond the 1,600 signatories against the huge parking project, requires the concern of the  whole of Mauritius, and that voices should be raised.  We cannot sit idle and watch such a massacre of a unique open space which in fact needs far more restructuring and improvement than a huge concrete parking lot.
The story of this place goes far back into history and into memory. It is one of the oldest racecourse of the world with races starting in 1812, and since that magical year, a whole trail of events has been imprinted into our minds. It is a place where residents and Mauritians in general find peace, freedom from the hustle and bustle of city life and much needed  serenity. The place where for the first time in history we became a nation.  Where for the first time we proudly pulled our flag up the mast to the applause of those present around. No one forgets 1968. Do we now wish to commit the ultimate insult, the crime of another Mauritian heritage?  The place is not merely a gambler’s den.
The projected parking space, when materialized, will definitely create a lasting damage.  First, we are going to sacrifice a green space for concrete with the accompanying air pollution of vehicles while the most  sensible action should have been in fact to stop this place being used as a parking for vehicles at all. Have we taken into consideration the chaos that would follow on the adjoining streets? Are those streets not clogged enough during much of normal days?
Wisely,  considerations must be given to the fact the Champ de Mars is already far too burdened with structures that should be removed and now an additional horde of cars, lorries invading the place would greatly impact not only on the lives of inhabitants in the immediate surrounding but on the thousands of children in kindergartens, schools and colleges not to mention the presence of a nursery as well.
Some years ago, the Catholic authorities rightly decided to do away with vehicles parking in front of St Louis Cathedral.  And believe me the result of this very wise move can still be witnessed with a green space adorning the whole square.  Would we now instead of rendering the Champ de Mars far greener commit an irreparable massacre?  Please save the Champ de Mars from such an ignoble act.
 We therefore cannot afford to sacrifice history for the sake of a concrete parking lot; we feel that places like the historical Line Barracks could be used for such  purposes.
I would on a personal level recommend that the whole set up of the Champ de Mars be remodeled, making it far more environment friendly than it is at its present state.  Why not a pool and fountain instead of the old and out of date old concrete pool and Edward VII statue we now have?  A professional landscapist could conveniently offer a far better alternative.  May good sense prevail.  This historical gaffe should not happen.
 
ANWAR ATCHIA