NWA, JPS yet to finalise street lights transfer
The Jamaica Public Sevice Company (JPS) and the National Works Agency (NWA) are yet to iron out the details of the handover of street lights along 15 corridors inspite of a sign-off by the Holness Cabinet.
For years, darkness has prevailed along some of these corridors and many residents have complained bitterly about the failure of the responsible parties to illuminate the areas to allow for greater visibility for motorists and pedestrians.
In a Gleaner interview on Tuesday, Hunter admitted that several roadways which had been expanded by the NWA had lighting infrastructure installed that were never handed over to the JPS.
He revealed that it will cost the Government some $300 million to rehabilitate lighting infrastructure along 15 corridors for which the NWA has responsibility.
He said that negotiations have been taking place with JPS for years and that Cabinet has now signed off on the transfer of the lighting infrastructure to the light and power company.
The NWA is taking steps to hand over to the JPS poles along several roadways, including Papine to Liguanea in St Andrew; the Elegant Corridor in Montego Bay, St James; Bogue in St James; and a section of the Washington Boulevard in St Andrew.
Hunter said that an estimated two per cent of the street lighting infrastructure belongs to the NWA and the balance is owned by the JPS.
TRANSFER INFRASTRUCTURE TO JPS
He said that the infrastructure needs to be passed over to the JPS so that it can take charge of the operational and maintenance responsibility going forward.
“Cabinet has authorised the transfer of that infrastructure to the JPS, which is step one. The next step in the process would be for the JPS to get the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) to recognise that responsibility in their tariff base,” Hunter said.
He added that the NWA and the JPS will meet today to operationalise the transfer and “we will pay them to fix it up and all of these corridors will now be lit from here going forward”.
The NWA boss pointed out that going forward, any time the NWA works on a new corridor, the JPS will take over the lighting infrastructure from day one.
Audrey Williams, media and public relations manager at JPS, told The Gleaner last evening that the company was still in talks with the NWA on the issue.
Noting that the proposed transfer was not a done deal at this time, Williams indicated that the JPS has not agreed on all aspects of the transfer arrangement and discussions were continuing to provide greater clarification.