Thu | Feb 25, 2021

JPS vows to address Hanover street light concerns

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2021 | 12:29 AMBryan Miller and Adrian Frater/Gleaner Writers


The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) said it is now addressing concerns about dysfunctional street lamps and the installation of energy-saving lamps in Hanover and for failing to appear at the monthly municipal meetings.

Winsome Callum, the JPS’s director of corporate communications, said that it had converted two-thirds of street lights in the northwestern parish to the new energy-saving LED bulbs and would be changing an additional 800 lamps in 2021.

The JPS also said it is moving to repair street lights that are not functional.

“The company repaired 543 lights in the parish for the year 2020, with 233 of that number repaired during the months of November and December,” said Callum.

At the Hanover Municipal Corporation’s meeting, where councillors accused the JPS of neglect, Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels indicated that his division (Cauldwell) was among many of the underserved communities with regard to the non-installation of LED bulbs.

“My division is one that is not even 30 per cent complete with regard to the changing out of the lights to LEDs,” said Samuels.

“Going down to the Green Island area from Lucea, most of the lights in the different communities in that area are still the old type of bulbs.”

The non-attendance of the JPS’s representative from the municipal meeting also drew the ire of the councillors. Callum cited a number of reasons why the representative had not attended, among them emergencies associated with storms.

“The last meeting attended by the JPS was in September 2020,” Callum said.

However, a review of the minutes of the September monthly meeting indicated that contrary to Callum’s assertion, the JPS’s representative was a no-show.

“A standard reporting format for the municipalities is being rolled out, and there will definitely be a more consistent presence at the meetings, starting in February,” said Callum.

At the meeting, Marvell Sewell, councillor for the Green Island division, demanded clarity on why the crash-plagued Green Island to Negril roadway remained in darkness.

The JPS was criticised for not installing 10 lights along the roadway, for which approval was granted more than two years ago.

“It is a black spot,” Sewell said.