Sat | Dec 3, 2016

McKay moves on Caymanas Park water thieves

Published:Saturday | December 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer

McKAY SECURITY'S push to rid Caymanas Park of illegal connections to its utility services took a new turn on Tuesday with the unearthing of an illegal water pipe leading from the racetrack to a nearby squatter settlement.

The discovery of the pipeline by security boss Jason McKay and the police was the latest twist in an ongoing disconnection war, which started with the targeting of illegal electrical connections to the Portmore racetrack's grid.

The pipeline was dug up and disconnected from the main that feeds the equine pool at the northern end of the 196-acre Caymanas Park compound. It is understood that the illegal connection had affected water supply to some stables and other areas of the racetrack.

Struggling financially

McKay pointed out that he got wind of the pipeline and immediately set about locating the illegal connection.

"The theft of utilities, light and water, is one of the main reasons that the track has been struggling financially. We understand the financial strain the track has been under, which has also affected my business, and I am willing to continue, free of cost, to rid Caymanas Park of this scourge," he told The Gleaner.

Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), said he had to see the connection for himself when he was told of its discovery.

"When I heard about it on Tuesday, I told them to wait until I got there before digging it up. I cannot speak to how long the connection was there, but it was buried and overgrown by shrubs, which would indicate it would have been there for some time," Stewart stated.

"On Saturdays, after three o'clock, most days the water pressure to the North Lounge and third floor is very weak as a result of water being diverted to an entire squatter community. From my observation, it was professionally done and could have had some inside help to make that connection," Stewart added, suggesting possible collusion of CTL employees.

McKay said there had been a notable decrease in illegal electricity connections to the racetrack since it was highlighted in The Gleaner that persons could be arrested and charged for abstracting electricity from Caymanas Park.

He again called for utility companies to seek ways of regularising persons in these communities.

"If this is allowed to continue, it will be one more nail to drive the track into bankruptcy. However, something needs to be done to regularise squatters as they are extracting water and light because of a need for utilities. There needs to be a long-term solution to provide light and water to persons who don't have land titles," said the security chief.