Wed | Apr 24, 2024

Accelerate SPARK Programme

Published:Saturday | March 2, 2024 | 12:06 AM


The majority of roads in Jamaica have been in a deplorable condition for an unacceptably long period. Notwithstanding, it is doubtful that citizens will get relief post-haste, because Prime Minister Andrew Holness requested that members of parliament have consultation with their communities prior to commencement of rehabilitation through the SPARK Programme. Such an entreaty by the prime minister is puzzling, considering the urgent attention that roads require.

Rehabilitation is overdue and should not be delayed by protracted discussions, while trying to reach a consensus about the order in which repairs should be done.

In my view, it is unnecessary for residents to be involved in the decision-making process. The National Works Agency (NWA) should do an assessment and then prioritise, with main and heavily trafficked roads given highest priority. For some programmes, the proposals or ideas of the community may be useful, but road projects should be exempted. Guard against those in the communities who are ‘mighty and respected’ and thus, may want to influence the order of overhauling.

As the saying goes, “too much rat nebba dig gud hole”, so having more participation in the decision-making will not necessarily lead to an efficient or desired outcome. Therefore, accelerate the implementation of the SPARK Programme by engaging the NWA, which will get input from members of parliament and councillors.

Commuters using the thoroughfare from Williamsfield roundabout in Manchester to Spur Tree will be overwhelmed with gratitude when that corridor is not patched– but revamped by scarifying and applying asphaltic concrete. It cannot be done too soon.