No room for mismanagement, Charles Jr warns NWC, NWA


No room for mismanagement, Charles Jr warns NWC, NWA

Senior staff reporter

Monday, November 11, 2019

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MINISTER without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, yesterday put several government agencies on notice that the Andrew Holness-led Administration will not tolerate the “mismanagement” of projects.

“I know that there will be some who will be a little bit upset, but I have a number of agencies that the prime minister has asked me to get in shape. National Water Commission, Rural Water [Supply Limited], National Works Agency (NWA), these agencies get yourself together. There will be no room for mismanagement. There will be no room for these inordinate delays,” said Charles Jr, who has responsibility for water.

He was speaking at a Jamaica Labour Party Area Council One meeting at Mona High School in St Andrew yesterday when he made the statement.

Charles Jr pointed to the Ferry transmission pipeline along Nelson Mandela Highway where work is still under way, arguing that it was scheduled for completion in April.

Work is under way to replace the broken 18-inch transmission main, which is buried 35-feet deep. The break has disrupted water supplied to sections of the Corporate Area, since last December.

“When I came in as minister, someone come to my office and said to me, 'Minister, why yuh nuh fix the Ferry pipeline since December?' That time me a foreign affairs; me nuh know nothing 'bout that. But I made a commitment to make sure that every single person that is involved in the repair of that pipeline must be put at the start line,” the minister stated.

“Understand, if you are a contractor, if you are one of the workers in the agency, if you are the lead in the agency, it doesn't matter to me. Once you have a job, get your work done or get somebody who can get the work done,” he added.

The Jamaica Observer can report that work has not yet been completed on Hagley Park Road, Constant Spring Road and in the vicinity of Portia Simpson Miller Square.

NWA, in a news release last Friday, said important finalising works are continuing on the Hagley Park Road improvement project as the sewer main is now being extended onto side roads and the installation of street lights is currently 75 per cent complete.

A mid-November timeline has been set for the “substantial completion” of the US$56-million project.

“Our responsibility as a Government is to make sure the people of this country do not suffer one day more than is needed. And so we are doing everything that is possible to make sure that the work is done at cost, in time, for the people of this country,” said Charles Jr.

Last December, the Government-run Jamaica Information Service reported that major works on all the legacy road infrastructure projects would be completed by March.

Some of the major roadworks include the US$19-million Constant Spring Road Improvement Project, the US$64-million Mandela Highway Realignment and Reconstruction Project, the US$56-million Hagley Park Road Improvement Project, the US$24.9-million Ferris Cross to Mackfield Project, and the US$4.4-million Barbican Road Upgrade Project.

The road infrastructure legacy projects fall under the Government of Jamaica's Major Infrastructure Development Programme, which is being financed through a concessionary loan from the Government of the People's Republic of China.

— Additional reporting by JIS

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