JIS News

The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has identified 43 drains and gullies to be cleared as it embarks on a cleaning programme in 20 divisions across the city at a cost of $35 million to $38 million.
Mayor of Kingston, Desmond McKenzie, informed that the programme would be carried out in three phases, with the first phase costing $11 million and encompassing the communities of Hope Pastures, Jacks Hill, Harbour View, New Haven, and Caribbean Terrace as well as sections of Meadowbrook and Havendale.
Mayor McKenzie, who was speaking at the KSAC’s monthly press briefing downtown Kingston on June 14, noted that the Corporation spent some $20 million to clean drains and gullies last year and this was able to protect the city against major flooding.
He noted that the programme did not cover all the major channels that could become hazards during the rainy season, such as those in the Barbican area, but the City Engineer would be working on a separate cleaning programme for these outlets.
He also called on citizens to desist from disposing waste in the gullies and noted that there were signs and advisories informing the public of the importance of proper waste disposal.
The Mayor further called on the government to increase the funds provided to the KSAC for drain and gully cleaning, noting that with the Corporation being responsible for 90 per cent of channels in the corporate area, it would need in excess of $70 million to carry out a comprehensive cleaning programme.
Mr. McKenzie also highlighted the high level of deforestation in East Rural St. Andrew and warned against indiscriminate tree cutting. “Acres of land are being prepared for the growing of coffee and trees are being cut down. At the rate it is going, I expect that these areas will be severely affected by rainfall and land slippage”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the Mayor has expressed pleasure with the KSAC’s efforts to legitimise signs and billboard in the corporate area, noting that 65 per cent to 75 per cent of businesses and companies had come forward to pay fees. “I am happy to report that we have had good responses from the major companies, which we had named,” he informed.
This compliance has resulted in the sign removal exercise being put on hold. He added however, that there were still a large number of persons who refused to have their signs registered or claimed that they are not aware of the regulations.
In response to these claims, Mr. McKenzie noted that the KSAC had met with the Advertisers Association and has reached an agreement to keep the public informed through the insertion of a full-page advertisement, every Wednesday in the Gleaner. The advertisement will contain information about the regulations, courtesy of advertisers and the KSAC.

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