ROADS damaged by National Water Commission (NWC) pipe-laying projects should be repaired within two weeks.
This commitment came from EG Hunter, chief executive officer at NWA, who was addressing Members of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday.
Hunter — who was responding to questions raised by Lloyd B Smith, member of parliament for Central St James — told the committee that under a year-old protocol, any road damaged by the NWC's pipe laying should be repaired within two weeks after the project is completed.
The NWA, a government of Jamaica agency, is responsible for planning, building and maintaining a reliable, safe and efficient main road network.
Hunter said the water providers had deposited millions into an account last year to finance these projects.
"The account started out with $8 million, and the intention was that those funds would be used to address cuts, as they occur. Once it gets to a certain floor, then it would be topped up," he said.
"We don't have any issue with that but I think that, to a large extent, and to be fair, the new protocol does not address in any substantial way the legacy matters, the cuts which had been there prior to the new arrangements. But we are talking about that, seeing how we can address that," he added.
The National Contracts Commission (NCC), in addition, granted a special dispensation, allowing a single contractor to do the pipe laying as well as the road repairs.
"You don't want one contractor doing the road and another contractor doing the pipe work, because two contractors in the same work space causes confusion," Hunter explained.
The members of parliament on hand were not convinced by Hunter's explanation.
"I listened carefully to all Mr Hunter said and I am a bit lost. Quite frankly, you have the money, you have the capacity to do the work: Why is the work not being done?" Fitz Jackson (South St Catherine) asked.
Hunter said that there were a few items to be worked out, before it really becomes effective.
"Is the new arrangement working to the satisfaction of the general public? Clearly, the answer is no. Because we still get issues coming out of that disjuncture between NWC and NWA," Hunter admitted.
Denise Daley (East St Catherine) said she would only be satisfied with a timeline for repairing the affected roads.
"Here is what I commit to ... after a cut, that we will carry out the permanent reinstatement within a maximum of two weeks," Hunter promised.