Paulwell accuses Gov’t of ‘classism’ in road works
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Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell has expressed dissatisfaction with the scope of the improvement works taking place along Windward Road in a part of his constituency.
Paulwell, while making his contribution to the 2019-2020 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House, noted that shortly before the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) lost the February 2016 General Election, plans for the development of what was called an ‘elegant corridor’, which would run from the Norman Manley International Airport to Elletson Road, were at an advanced stage.
“The project was to commence initially with a major focus on the Windward Road, for full rehabilitation from Rockfort to Elletson Road. It would have seen upgrading of the pavement, construction of curb walls and sidewalks, installation of new lighting and signs and a general beautification of the area,” said Paulwell. The work would have also included Mountain View Avenue but those plans were significantly curtailed with the change of government.
“To our amazement, the project has been downsized with only road improvement surfacing from Rockfort to the Mountain View Avenue intersection,” Paulwell told the House of Representatives.
“The contract that was signed did not even have provision for curb walls and sidewalks,” he said.
According to the longstanding MP, this was only remedied after his “strenuous appeals” to Prime Minister Andrew Holness. As a result, he said curb walls are now being installed but he lamented that there are still no sidewalks despite being given repeated assurances.
And Paulwell suggested that the work was significantly scaled back because of the geographic area in which it is taking place.
Paulwell said that while he was “not envious” of the improvements (road works) taking place in Barbican and Constant Spring in upper St Andrew…”we must ask, why are the people of downtown (Kingston) being treated differently from those uptown…”
“The widely held view has been cemented that there is classism in this place,” he stated. He appealed to the prime minister under whose portfolio the responsible agency falls, “for the full restoration of the original plans for the project.”
He said the situation was of great concern to him and his constituents.