MONTEGO BAY, St James - The resumption of work on the Granville to Retirement road under the controversial multi -billion dollar Jamaica Development Infrastruce Pogramme (JDIP) is expected to get underway this month.
"Some of the projects should be restarted, including the one in Granville, but I am not in a position to give an exact timeline. I had a discussion with the sub-contractor this morning (yesterday) and he did say that he is going to be having some discussions with a view to restarting," Manager of Communication and Customer Services at the National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw, told the Observer West during a telephone interview yesterday. "We may very well see that happening within a couple of weeks."
In the meantime, Member of Parliament West Central St James Sharon Ffolkes -Abrahams said she learnt yesterday from Junior Transport, Works and Housing Minister Richard Azan that discussions are advanced with the contractors for the completion of the work.
" My position is that the road must be fixed and the Government's position is that the road must be fixed. We are in discussions with them (contractors) to move on with the fixing of the road," said Ffolkes- Abrahams, who is also the junior minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce.
Work on the Granville to Retirement road began more than a year ago and was expected to cost $164.5 million. The project is said to be 65 per cent complete.
Meanwhile, members of the Granville Homecoming Committee are clamouring for the project to be restarted. They want the awful state of the road to be addressed in time for homecoming activities, scheduled to commence Tuesday, July 24, with the honouring of intuitive artiste Errol Allen at the Granville Community Centre.
According O Dave Allen, Project Manager for the Granville Homecoming Committee, members of the group are calling for "even the completion" of a section of Chambers Drive — especially from the Police Station leading in the Granville Square — to the Granville All Age School, in time for the start on the inaugural homecoming activities.
The committee members are particularly peeved that resumption of work is yet to get underway, even after they received a commitment from the NWA communications officer Janelle Ricketts at a community meeting early last month that work would have commenced two weeks later, said the project manager.
That meeting came after Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay Michael Troupe, who is also Councilllor for the Granville Division, served notice that he was prepared to demonstrate against his People's National Party (PNP) to express his disgust with the state of the Granville to Retirement main road.
Meanwhile, the Granville Homecoming Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday at the Granville All Age School to decide on the appropriate course of action to take.