Wed | Aug 23, 2017

More woes from 'Lot of hell' - Smoke blankets sections of downtown Kingston after fire on land owned by justice ministry

Published:Sunday | September 11, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Firefighters put out a blaze on the 'Lot of hell' in downtown Kingston last Friday. The smoke from the fire provided the age-old challenge to schools around the property owned by the justice ministry.

Days into the start of the new academic year, students of schools near an open lot at the corner of East Street, Sutton Street and John's Lane were again facing problems from what has been dubbed the 'Lot of hell'.

Last Friday, thick black smoke blanketed the area around the lot as a fire, allegedly started by a man of unsound mind, raged.

A team of firefighters finally doused the blaze but not before residents and persons attending the nearby Corporate Area Civil Court voiced their displeasure that students at St Aloysius Primary and other schools could again be negatively affected.

The lot is owned by the Ministry of Justice which, after The Sunday Gleaner first reported on the issues surrounding it, promised that they would be addressed shortly.

The lot was cleared days after the story broke with the illegal dumps removed. The justice ministry also expressed regret for "any nuisance that may have been occasioned by the state of the said parcel of land".

The ministry said it intends to use the land as a parking facility for persons attending the nearby court.

"The ministry is making every effort to have this project expedited as soon as possible. In the interim, the procurement process is ongoing; and we anticipate that this will be concluded in a matter of weeks." At that time, the ministry said it was in the procurement process for the fourth occasion.

"A tender notice will be sent out soon for contractors to submit their proposals and we anticipate that this will be concluded in a few weeks. In relation to the completion date, our projection is that the car park should be constructed within this financial year (which ends March 2017)," said the ministry.

arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com