Manchester MP wants to improve roads, water supplySunday, May 09, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
NEWPORT, Manchester — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester Southern Robert Chin says he is determined to resolve the inadequacy of potable water supply and deplorable road conditions in that constituency.
Chin told the Jamaica Observer last week that he intended to address the constituency's problems on a “community-by-community” basis.
Chin, created a political upset when he unseated Michael Stewart of the People's National Party (PNP) by 890 votes in the September 3 general election. Chin polled 6,826 votes to Stewart's 5,936.
Back in 2016, Stewart won the seat comfortably by 1,176 votes — polling 8,398 to the JLP's Hidran McKulsky's 7,222 votes.
Chin was parachuted into the constituency as a late replacement for former JLP standard-bearer Junior Robinson, who bowed out suddenly one week before Nomination Day last year.
Prior to last September's general election, the last time the JLP won Manchester Southern in a contested poll was in 1980. The seat was retained in the snap parliamentary election of 1983 that was not contested by the PNP.
Responding to Stewart's comments in the Sunday Observer last week, in which Chin was criticised for his controversial Easter bun distribution and overall representation, the MP told the Observer that he will not be distracted from the job at hand.
“The roads in south Manchester are in a total state of disrepair and this is what I inherited. The work has already started to fix some of these roads,” he said.
He said major work is scheduled for this year to rehabilitate the Bossue Lane Road (from Warwick to Pusey Hill), Downs to Alligator Pond Road, and Cross Keys into Marley Hill.
The repair of the Downs to Alligator Pond main road is crucial for business interests, including fisherfolk and restaurant owners as well as farmers in south Manchester.
Chin disclosed that he has been lobbying for investment in potable water for his constituents and he cited a 2011 estimate of $2.5 billion to solve the water supply issue in the constituency.
“Water was a $2.5-billion fix, ,and that was in 2011, so what I have been advocating for right now is the critical areas in each division to be done. There are about four areas that we are focused on; one in each division,” he said.
Manchester Southern comprises four political divisions: Newport, Porus, Grove Town and Alligator Pond.
“We want to get some critical areas done, but we are tackling it community by community,” said Chin.
For years Manchester Southern residents have been complaining of the lack of good roads, potable water and employment opportunities.
Chin is adamant that he will achieve his campaign promises.
He said that he has been on the ground and having community 'reasonings'.
“I have been having community consultations, and there is no week that I haven't met with a new community group to hear their concerns,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chin is satisfied with the response from stakeholders involved in the construction of the US$188-million May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the east-west corridor of Highway 2000.
Residents of Redberry complained of dust and noise nuisance to the Jamaica Observer in January.
Chin said the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), which is responsible for overseeing the design, construction and maintenance of Jamaica's highways, and the contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have addressed the concerns of the residents.
“There has been so much dialogue [regarding] the highway. There were several issues, [and] we are at a point now where everybody understands each other,” he said.
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