Pier development to bring water, sewerage plant to Port Royal

Pier development to bring water, sewerage plant to Port Royal

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS
Senior staff reporter
saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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RESIDENTS of Port Royal are to start benefiting from better water supply and a sewerage treatment plant as a result of the cruise pier development that is being undertaken by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), in partnership with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), which is coordinating other State agencies.

Port Royal currently has no sewerage treatment system, and instead has collection points, which are not consistently maintained.

The billion-dollar project, being undertaken by the National Water Commission (NWC), is projected to provide 250,000 gallons of water to the town and a long-needed sewage processing system.

NWC President Mark Barnett outlined some of the details yesterday at a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament, where the discussions centred on the port project and the wider development master plan for the famed old town.

The discussions were led by representatives of the PAJ, UDC, and the National Environment and Planning Agency.

Just under $600 million is to be spent on the water distribution network, and another $500 million on the sewerage system.

“We are very mindful of what is to come even after the pier is developed. It is most appropriate and more of a long-term vision for Port Royal rather than a system that serves just the port,” Barnett explained.

He said the decision had, therefore, been taken to locate the treatment plant outside of the confines of the port itself. “The system is being developed in a modular way to take the immediate needs, but we recognise, based on the nature of the work that will be done, that there will be some forward installation that would be required,” he said.

He explained that while the system may not necessarily be connected for immediate use, as it is tied to the other overall works that are to be carried out by the UDC, the infrastructure will be put in for renewal of the water supply distribution system to Port Royal, and sewer connection.

Barnett said funding is to be set aside in the upcoming budget for the 2020/21 fiscal period, when the works are slated to start.

President of the PAJ Professor Gordon Shirley said the sewerage treatment facilities for the pier, which was built for expansion, has been sited close to the Port Royal cemetery and that designs are at an advanced stage for the sewerage network for the town. “We will be putting in the pipelines under our promenade going into the town that will carry the sewage from the town to the site,” he noted.

Shirley said collaborating State agencies have been asked to participate in the finalisation of plans for the first cruise ship call, which is scheduled for next Monday, January 20.

In the meantime, he said the National Housing Trust and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund have stepped in to provide assistance to persons whose homes are in a state of disrepair.

These are homes which will be visible to visitors, based on the route which has been designed for them to access the town. Additionally, the Tourism Enhancement Fund is developing road signs for Port Royal, at a cost of $9 million.

The cost of the overall work on the pier is US$45 million.


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