Thu | Aug 22, 2019

Major road repairs coming for Orchard Housing Scheme

Published:Monday | July 8, 2019 | 12:07 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Deplorable roads in the Orchard Housing Scheme in Hopewell, Hanover.
Another section of the Orchard Housing Scheme in Hopewell, Hanover.
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Western Bureau:

Pleas from residents of Orchard Housing Scheme in Hopewell, Hanover, for better roads are set to be answered as approximately J$18 million has been allocated to carry out rehabilitation works in the area.

For years, residents have been urging the National Housing Trust (NHT), which constructed the scheme 46 years ago, and the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), which has oversight responsibility for the parochial roads, to remedy the situation.

During a recent extraordinary meeting of the Orchard Housing Scheme Citizens’ Association, to which representatives of both the NHT and the HMC were invited, the residents demanded answers as to why no repairs have taken place in recent years.

Owen Rose of the Roads and Works Department of the HMC and Gary McLean, the corporation’s physical planner, said discussions were progressing in having the repairs carried out shortly.

“... Within the next month to a month and a half, you should see some work taking place on your roads,” Rose said. “The NHT has given us a significant ... contribution to facilitate the rehabilitation of sections of the roads within the community and we are at the procurement stage now, so very shortly, you should see some improvement in your roads.”

Stray animals

He explained that the works would include road improvement, building kerb walls, and the installation of street signs, among other activities.

The residents also raised concerns about the vast number of stray animals roaming the streets; the steady increase in the number of old, abandoned vehicles; spillover construction material littering the roadways; several unoccupied lots in need of cleaning; and commercial activities taking place within the scheme.

“You will have to bring those matters to the attention to the HMC for the enforcement officer to handle,” McLean told them, explaining that those issues did not fall under either his or Rose’s portfolios.

Councillor Devon Brown, who was at the meeting, promised that he would personally visit the area to get a first-hand look at the situation to present the issues before the HMC.