KINGSTON — Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the cost of damage sustained by the island’s infrastructure due to persistent torrential rains over the last week, should be known next week, when an assessment is undertaken by the National Works Agency (NWA).
Speaking on June 8 at a post-Cabinet media briefing, held at Jamaica House, Mr. Vaz said the rains had, undoubtedly, impacted works being executed under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) and other projects, while creating additional damage to what existed.
The Minister pointed out that at the time of the briefing, when the island was still experiencing showers from a lingering weather system, it would have been impossible for any assessment to be done.
“The report I have is that we won’t get a clear indication until, probably, early next week, based on the fact that the rains have not subsided, and it’s impossible for the agency to go out there and do the assessments,” he informed.
Mr. Vaz said that from his observation driving around Kingston, in terms of the potholes that are popping up and resurfacing, “it will definitely have an impact on not only what is happening now, but what is going to be required in terms of funding to address what is being done”.
The Minister was unable to say whether funds would be diverted from the $100 million allocated in the 2011/12 Budget for JDIP to effect repairs, pointing out that, “the Capital A Budget is very, very tight in terms of the amount that was allocated to that”.
He indicated, however, that Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, and the NWA would be better able to speak to this “in the coming days”.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter