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JIS News

Scrap metal hunting thieves and the sharing of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) utility poles by other service providers have added to the damage already sustained to the utility company’s transmission network in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.
Speaking with JIS News yesterday, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JPS, Damian Obligio said that “lines buried for landing purposes near the airport were cut into pieces after thieves (scrap metal hunters) found, to their disappointment, that they were made of aluminum.”
“We discovered further that the conductor was stolen along the Harbour View to Norman Manley Airport transmission route, so it’s almost a new construction that will have to be undertaken,” the CEO said.
Regarding pole overload, Mr. Obligio explained that “all the utility lines on our poles compounded the effect of the hurricane force winds.”
He noted that, “we are good corporate citizens so although we were aware that this was likely to happen, we would not have refused to allow them to share our poles because it would be unsightly if all of us had to plant separate poles”.
In terms of protecting its property in the future, the JPS CEO stated, “we have taken photos of trucks, licence plates and persons connected to the theft of our transmission infrastructure, so we are confident they’ll be caught.”
“At this time, our priority is to restore service to our customers so we don’t want to get distracted by anything else,” he pointed out while adding, “we will recover the costs from other users of our utility poles where it is determined from our assessment that they contributed to the damage sustained.”