KINGSTON — The Government has set aside $10.6 billion to continue work to improve the infrastructure in tourist centres along the northern coast of Jamaica.
This will be done under the Northern Jamaica Development Project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Works, through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), European Union (EU), Inter American Development Bank (IDB), Overseas Economic Corporation Fund (OECF) and the Government of Jamaica.
As set up in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, the allocation will go towards payments for the acquisition of lands from Negril in Hanover to Montego Bay, St. James; Montego Bay to Greenside, Trelawny; Greenside to Ocho Rios, St. Ann; and Ocho Rios to Fair Prospect, Portland.
The project, which began in October 1991, has had a number of extensions and is now scheduled to be completed in March 2012.
Since its inception in October 1991, there has been a 100 per cent completion of road surfaces under the Negril to Montego Bay leg of the project, as well as ongoing payments for 220 parcels of lands, which were acquired.
Under the Montego Bay to Greenside segment, the Ministry has completed civil works contracts and the process of legally acquiring 67 parcels of land; finalised the defects liability period; relocated 100 per cent of utility poles; and completed the resettlement of all project-affected persons.
From Greenside to Ocho Rios, Jamaica Public Service and Cable and Wireless (LIME) utility poles and wires have been relocated; the Pilot Road Maintenance programme has been completed; 203 parcels of land have been acquired; construction of 69.7 kilometres of highway has been completed and open to traffic; and environmental plans completed.
Under the Ocho Rios to Fair Prospect segment, the legal acquisition of 480 parcels of lands and the redesign/rescoping works by consultants have been completed; while 570 persons affected by the project, have been resettled.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter