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Phillips says poor planning by gov't to be blamed for road congestion

Published:Friday | September 14, 2018 | 10:24 AM
Opposition leader Dr Peter Phillips - File photo

The Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips is dismissing the claim made by the Andrew Holness-led Government that it was forced, because of implementation delay by the previous administration, to undertake major roadwork along a number of critical corridors at the same time resulting in serious traffic congestion across the Corporate Area.

“I can speak from the vantage point of being the Minister of Finance at the time and I say categorically that was no representation from the Chinese authority about the pace of the implementation of the projects and those projects which are part of the Major Development Infrastructural Programme (MDIP) had been underway for some time. They included projects such as Mineral Heights to Rocky Point which was done; it included the resurfacing of the roadway Whitehouse, Westmoreland; Sour Sop turn to Chapelton, Clarendon; and Marcus Garvey Drive,” Phillips said in a statement.

Continuing, “We were about ready to break ground when the elections came and as such the implementation schedule was delayed, starting with the Mandela Highway. We started the Barbican Road improvement with land acquisition in the Barbican area as well as along the Hagley Park Road corridor. I know for a fact also that the design work in relation to the Portia Simpson Miller Square and Hagley Park Road was completed, but was redesigned by the current government before the major construction commenced.”

According to the opposition leader, the Holness government is being disingenuous in its attempt to pass off blame.

“I find it quite strange that when they think it is all very good they claim it as their own project in totality, but when they implemented poorly they say it is because of the People’s National Party,” said Phillips.

“These are loan funds, not grant funds and as such, they can talk to the bankers. The Chinese are not going to shut down the project if you tell them that you want to start the project six months after one project is completed so that we don’t close down the city all at one time, he said.

“It is just bad planning, I find it reprehensible that the government and the Prime Minister should be trying to pass it off on some other authority. It is his ministry that is at fault,” the opposition leader said.

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