KINGSTON — Chief Executive Officer, National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong, says the quality of the work being done under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) is second to none, noting that the hallmark of the project is durability and excellence.
“We are very proud of this achievement in terms of the execution and the quality of the work that is being done,” he told journalists on Thursday during a media briefing at the Ministry of Transport and Works offices in Kingston.
The NWA head said an intensive quality control procedure has been incorporated into the programme to ensure that no payment will be certified unless the necessary technical requirements are met.
“The key is that under this programme we’re not just doing patchwork, we’re doing repair jobs, we’re solving the problems. The pipe culverts that are 18 inches, we are upgrading them to three-feet islandwide to ensure that they can carry the volume of water. In the urban areas, we are putting in sidewalks. We’re putting in intensive drainage solutions wherever we’re working,” he stated.
Mr. Wong further noted that the programme, which is regarded as the largest and most comprehensive infrastructural initiative to be implemented in Jamaica, could also be seen as one of the most transparent to be carried out.
He informed that as at Tuesday (May 24) monthly progress reports, detailing all the projects being implemented under the programme, have been made available on the agency’s website at: www.nwa.gov.jm.
“All the various projects and programmes are on our website as we speak. It will give progress status, pictorial slides, and an update on every project and programme…that has been completed and that is being done,” he said.
He commended the NWA staff, noting that while there were “one and two glitches…my team did a very good job in preparing themselves for the execution of this programme.”
Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, congratulated the NWA, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, for its outstanding work over the decade.
He said the agency is committed to continuing its record of maintaining and building quality infrastructure for the Jamaican people. “We are going to be moving full speed ahead in terms of the issues we have to address,” he stated.
Mr. Henry noted that one of the main issues the agency will be working towards this year is the matter of traffic control across the island, in terms of re-doing road markings and replacing fading reflector lights in areas along the north coast.
JDIP, which started in 2010, is being financed through an agreement between the Governments of Jamaica and China and is geared towards the rehabilitation of roads and other infrastructure islandwide.
The NWA is the implementing agency for the five-year programme, which is expected to create close to 7,000 jobs for Jamaicans.
Works have already begun in a number of parishes including, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, Manchester, St. Ann, St. James, St. Catherine, St. Mary and Clarendon.
Some $100 million has been allocated in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure to fund the programme in its second year. This is inclusive of works which have been brought over from year one.
The main areas of focus for this fiscal year includes rehabilitation of 120 main and parochial roads, patching 200,000 square metres of roadway, constructing 12 new bridges, rehabilitating seven housing scheme roads, and installing 17 modular bridges.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter