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After more than a decade, HAJ yet to install lighting infrastructure in Mount Edgecome

Observer staff reporter

Monday, October 02, 2017

RESIDENTS in Phase 4 of Mount Edgecombe in Runaway Bay, St Ann, are calling on the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to install lighting infrastructure in the community, as fears mount that something disastrous will occur.

The residents told the Jamaica Observer North & East that, for years, they have been lobbying to have proper light poles erected in the community; however, they are yet to receive the improved infrastructure and continue to use poles erected by residents.

Some of the poles are now rotting, some have collapsed and the residents believe if they do not receive urgent attention a major accident, which may result in the loss of property and lives, could happen in the community.

When Observer North & East visited the community recently, the dangers residents face daily were obvious.

Rotting poles, electric wires touching the ground, and falling poles are eyesores in the community of beautiful houses. Danger lurked everywhere.

According to residents, some of whom have been living in the community for 15 years, they purchased their lands from the HAJ and began building with the expectation that the infrastructure would have been put in place.

Instead, they have had to buy wires and have erected poles to get electricity from a neighbouring housing development.

With danger lurking everywhere, the residents say they have approached the Jamaica Public Service, but were told that the HAJ has to pay for the poles and wires to be implemented.

Some residents have expressed frustration due to the length of time the HAJ is taking to address their concerns. They noted that the situation has become dire, with many poles teetering and some falling.

Charmaine Chevannes-Brown, public relations officer for the community, said the HAJ has informed that work should begin soon but mentioned that they have been told this before.

She showed Observer North & East an e-mail received from the HAJ last month.

“We have requested JPS to complete the engineering designs for the electrical distribution system. This process is expected to be completed in the next four (4) weeks. Pricing will commence after the completion of the designs. This is anticipated to be completed by early November.

“Once pricing is complete, HAJ will make payment for implementation of the electricity distribution infrastructure at Mount Edgecombe. Construction activities are estimated to last about six (6) weeks,” the e-mail from environmental planner Zaneta Scott said.

Chevannes-Brown said the community is bringing this matter to the public in a bid to ensure the HAJ keeps its promises.

“We just want them to put in the proper post, give us the light,” she said.