The festive seasons are here and while all Mauritians are busy celebrating Xmas and preparing to welcome the New Year in glory, Residents of Magon Street (Plaine Verte) dread this period when they are held hostage in their Residences by the all-too-famous ‘marchands ambulants’. Year on year the anarchy increases and has now reached an unbearable state…Just imagine living on a usually very busy road which is now closed to allow the ‘marchands ambulants’ to “make and break” the law.  Below is a description of our lives during these 2 weeks :
• Law abiding and tax paying Residents of Magon Street need to park their cars far from their residences early morning and wait till around 1 a.m. when the fair is over to get their car back home.
• Many homes on the street have very young children (even babies), elderly citizens and mature residents who have law abiding jobs they need to attend every morning. With the extreme noise levels (ice cream van with its music blasting till midnight, sellers shouting about the benefits of their articles, karaoke with DJ till very late night, among others), sleeping is impossible till early morning.
• Don’t even try to think how you’ll cope with any emergency that could arise within your home…it’s impossible to get any transport (not even your own vehicles) in the street to take care of any sick person.
• When you have to travel long distances, it doesn’t matter whether you have a car or not. Call a taxi and wait for an hour as Edgar Laurent Street, which is a one-way road normally, becomes two-way due to the fair so transport gets stuck in traffic jam. City Clinic is also on Edgar Laurent Street and not a year goes by when we don’t see ambulances stuck in the chaos.
• Do not plan any weddings in your family during the last 2 weeks of the year, when you live on Magon Street. And you are the one who pay all the taxes – income, VAT, Municipality and what not – to live on the street. However “les marchands ambulants”, “les petits copains” of some politicians make the rules during these 2 weeks, even if they don’t pay any of the taxes you do. By the way, do they even pay Income Taxes ? Why doesn’t MRA come around to check ? Or Income Taxes are only for us disadvantaged (i.e. without any political connection) citizens ?
• If you tell a hawker to keep your entrance free…he just calls Mr … or some other politician of his choice, who allows him to place his tent wherever he wants, even in front of your entrance.
• Do the political agents or the municipality charge each seller who places the tent in front of our doors, block our entrances and prohibit us from moving from our homes? Is this legal and taxable income?
• The ‘tapeurs des politiciens’ threaten your lives if you dare say anything against them. These are the types of people our politicians associate themselves with. Law and Order anyone ? It’s inexistent for these ‘tapeurs’ as they make the rules and are protected by their ‘petits copains’.
• Maurice Ile Durable…Maurice, c’est un plaisir…for whom ? Not for us Residents of Magon Street. Just come around and see the pollution (environment and noise) that goes on during these 2 weeks, it’s a shame for an island that claims to be the Tiger of the Indian Ocean to allow such a mess. We have made many petitions, knocked on many doors, begged many politicians to stop this anarchy in our street…all in vain. After all, our votes are not as important as the thousands of hawkers and the political agents. We don’t want to stop people from working but why aren’t they transferred to Champ de Mars where they will not trouble anyone ? You don’t need to be a genius to find solutions to this problem. They will refuse, so what ? Aren’t the Authorities here to stop abuse, to establish Law and Order ? If the Authorities impose the law in one year and stop the set up of tents in the street, using forceful measures if need be and the need would be present as the Government has encouraged their political agents over too many years, the following years would be much easier.
But what do the Authorities do instead ? Ask the Residents, in front of the ‘tapeurs’, if we have issues to have the road closed…
Mr Norbert Froget, you are a great man! Please come to the Municipality of Port Louis and teach your colleagues how to apply the law. It appears that they have no clue what Law is about.
Who are those politicians encouraging the deterioration of the quality of life of hard working, tax paying citizens just to benefit their political agents ?
• Maurice Ile Durable…the substantial pollution, which could be avoided but which is very consciously allowed by the Government, that arise these 2 weeks. Come over around 8 p.m. and see for yourself. Then come by in the morning of 1st January when they dismantle their tents and see the horror that is left behind.
• Why doesn’t the MRA trace these hawkers ? I’m sure most are not even registered as tax payers.
• Why aren’t they transferred elsewhere, like Champ de Mars, where they wouldn’t disturb anyone ?
• Who are benefitting from all the above at the expense of the peace of mind, security, quiet lives of the Residents of Magon Street ?
Please help us by alerting the Authorities, if that is still possible, how the conditions are unlivable, unbearable, unhealthy for us and so they stop this fair from next year. It is very important for our health, the health of our parents and children, our security, to allow us to live like normal citizens. We can’t divulge our identities for obvious security reasons.