Wed | Nov 21, 2018

JPS to repair thousands of streetlights as Gov't deals with arrears

Published:Thursday | October 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Fayval Williams

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has committed to repairing half of the 12,000 out-of-service street lights islandwide over the next few months, State Minister for Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams has stated.

This, as the Government recently allocated $7.1 billion to local authorities to pay outstanding and current charges for street lighting.

Parliament's Public Adminis-tration and Appropriations Committee heard in March that $8.6 billion was owed to the company for street lights by the local authorities.

Speaking with journalists at a post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew, yesterday, Williams underscored that late payment to the power company affects the quality of street-lighting services that citizens experience.

She argued that the recent allocation to deal with the arrears and subsequent commitment by JPS is excellent news for many Jamaicans who are constantly reporting non-functional street lights within the proximity of their houses to no avail.

"As a Government, we have a moral authority to insist that JPS act promptly to repair street lights when they go out. We also believe that remedying the street light issue removes what we believe to be a condition for criminals to be opportunistic," Williams reasoned.

"As a member of Parliament, I can tell you that in an area called Bryce Hill, the people there believe that if they had street lights, a recent murder would not have been committed, and I hear the same refrain from persons in Stand Pipe in terms of street lights. So this is an issue that we have dealt decisively with as the Government, and we look forward to the work of JPS in the months ahead," she added.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com