Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Hold NWA accountable

Published:Thursday | November 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The perennial cry, 'We want justice', has morphed into 'We want Roads!' And one wonders when that cry will be a thing of the past as we journey into 2030. In the November 17 issue of The Gleaner, Professor Trevor Munroe's article, "Hold NWA's feet to the fire," discusses the problems of roads that seem to have no solution in sight.

It is quite obvious that the inferiority of the work done necessitates continuous patching in no time. That is very poor stewardship of the public's taxes and a sad reflection on the National Works Agency (NWA), whose responsibility is to ensure that Jamaica's road infrastructure will be cost-effective.

As it is now, the impression given is that 'we all need a food,' so let's make the roadworks done in such a way that they will require continuous patchwork. This is a waste of money and only leads to disgruntled travellers, be they passengers or motorists whose vehicles get damaged. 'We can't put cat to watch milk,' as the saying goes, and so the NWA needs an independent watchdog or quantity/quality surveyor so that the infrastructure put in place will last much longer than just for a season. How can we be sure that this required quality would be delivered?

Of a certainty, 'we can't put cat to watch milk.'

Therefore, might there not be a possibility of having all contractors and subcontractors employed by NWA carry some type of insurance to ensure that the work done is of such quality that it would last beyond the next torrential downpour? In other words, it would be the insurers' role to verify the quality material used for roads rather than leave it up to the whims and fancy of contractors and subcontractors who might have been hired for reasons other than competency and accountability. If the work is substandard, the insurance company would be responsible to have the necessary infrastructure replaced. Until we have some such accountability, we will forever have a bleeding of government funds (taxpayers' money) and the perennial cry of our people, 'We want roads!'

Donald J. Reece