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Grange says Palisadoes not part of entertainment zone

Kingston mayor says NMIA agreed to event

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, in response to the calamity caused by yesterday's traffic congestion on the main road to the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), says Palisadoes Road and the Gun Boat Beach are not part of the entertainment zone declared at Fort Rocky.

Grange, in a release this evening, explained that the entertainment zone is restricted to the specific location known as Fort Rocky, which are the ruins of the fort that was constructed after World War II, and does not include any other place, including the Palisadoes Road, Gun Boat Beach or anywhere along the corridor leading to NMIA.

The congestion, which was a result of patrons of the New Years event, Sandz, parking outside the designated areas, lead to a delay in departures and caused several passengers to miss their flights.

“I also wish to make clear that the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport does not grant permits or licences for the staging of entertainment events — those are dealt with by the relevant Municipal Corporation and police division — and did not grant permits/licences for the event that was held at Gun Boat Beach on New Year's Day,” said Grange.

At the same time, the Kingston & St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), which granted the licence for the party, said it did so on the basis of a signed letter by the NMIA offering no objection in respect of the hosting of the event.

The KSAMC, in citing the breakdown of enforcement as the cause for the Palisadoes chaos, explained that both the NMIA and the promoter entered into an agreement to provide designated parking at its facility along the Port Royal main road.

“The arrangement included a shuttle system that would transport patrons from the parking area to the venue. Permission was also granted by the police for the event,” said the KSAMC.

The KSAMC added that it strictly instructed the promoter that there was to be no parking along Palisadoes main road and the promoter communicated this to the patrons.

“We were satisfied with the arrangement in place between the NMIA and the promoter with respect to parking and the shuttle system.

"We sincerely regret the tremendous inconvenience caused to visitors, airline personnel, airport employees and residents of Kingston & St Andrew. The KSAMC will not be issuing any further amusement licence for events along the Palisadoes Road in the short term and will meet with all ministries and agencies to determine our medium to long term position,” the KSAMC expressed.

The event promoters have since apologised, noting that uncooperative patrons were responsible for the incident.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner George Quallo described the incident as an “embarrassment” to the Jamaica Constabulary Force and was asked by Security Minister Robert Montague to provide a report on the circumstances surrounding last evening's activities, which resulted in the traffic pile-up.




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