State agricultural lands that had been granted to notorious businessman Rakesh Gooljaury will be taken back by the government. The Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security will soon seize the 227 hectares of land currently in the possession of Gooljaury.
Rakesh Gooljaury and Navin Ramgoolam
The Minister of Agro-Industry, Mahen Seeruttun, had announced the aim of the government to review agricultural lands leased to beneficiaries at the beginning of the year. Following this evaluation, the decision was made to take back those granted to Gooljaury.
The ministry justifies its prospective action by arguing that the pieces of land in question have not been subject to the development Gooljaury (deer hunting) had promised ever since they were leased to him; according to one of the clauses governing the grants, the State can automatically take back lands where no development has been done.
The story goes back to 2007 when Rakesh Gooljaury had made a request to obtain agricultural lands in the North of Mauritius. The lands are situated near the reservoir of La Nicolière. After obtaining a 7-year lease, he had allegedly intended to turn them into a hunting ground with deers and other animals. The firm to manage the hunting programmes would have been Designer Ltd, which was itself managed by Gooljaury.