Golding slaps shortcuts while touring damaged MoBaySunday, November 14, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Opposition Leader Mark Golding is reasoning that the looming spending expected to accompany rehabilitation work to infrastructure damaged following the recent flooding in Montego Bay, could have been avoided, had it not been for the taking of project shortcuts in the resort city.
Heavy rainfall between last Sunday and Monday caused flooding on roads in St James, leaving extensive infrastructure damage.
“As you know, we don't have money to waste in this country so it's important that we properly engineer our projects. So we don't cut corners when it comes to the type of infrastructure that we are doing and that will preserve what we are doing and avoid the unnecessary spending,” Golding, who is also president of the People's National Party (PNP), argued during a tour of this city Thursday afternoon.
“If you are going to build up, you have to put a proper drainage system in place, otherwise you're going to be wasting money over and over again.”
In fact, Golding blamed the damage to the Unity Hall road on the absence of sufficient drainage when the throughfare was repaired a few couple ago.
“So even here on this (Unity Hall) road which has been badly damaged, I'm told it was fixed two years ago, and it has been torn up again because there's no adequate drainage to carry the water,” Golding argued.
He also decried that after some $500 million which was spent to carry out repairs to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security office in Montego Bay in 2017, whenever it rains heavily, workers at the facility are now forced to catch water running from a leaking roof in buckets.
“We visited the NIS ( National Insurance Scheme) building which I gathered that over $500 million was spent renovating. Again, how is it that we are spending all this money and the work is not being properly done?” Golding asked.
“They (workers) only moved back in September. It looks very nice inside, but the first heavy rain and the place is leaking terribly.”
The Opposition leader, along with party supporters, toured sections of Unity Hall, North Gully, Ironshore Fire Station, Mount Alvernia High School and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security offices.
He also met with prospective candidates who will represent the PNP in St James when the next local government election is called.
The PNP won only four of the 13 seats in St James in the last local government election.
Golding told reporters that he is optimistic in doing well in St James and Region Six (western) during the next local government poll.
“We have a good team and we are focused on doing better now and looking forward to seeing good results from that. We have some good candidates. The energy is good,” Golding said.