Adrian Frater, News Editor
Residents say the Government has treated them with scant regard and disdain
THE DISGRUNTLED executive of the Cornwall Court Citizens Association (CCCA) in St James have decided to go public with a letter they had written to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, seeking her input in addressing the deplorable road condition in the community.
More than a year ago, the six miles of roadway leading from Cornwall Courts to downtown Montego Bay was ripped bare by a contractor employed by the Government to effect repairs. The road has since become a dust bowl littered with boulders and trenches.
"The decision to make the letter public is on account of the fact that her (Simpson Miller) office has not formally acknowledged receipt of the letter and the other documents we sent," said Floyd V. Hitchman, president of CCCA. "We believe we have given appropriate time for a response."
CCCA, which has been resisting a call by residents to lock down Montego Bay with a massive demonstration, has called a community meeting for this Sunday.
Cornwall Courts, which is home to approximately 16,000 residents, is one of the largest housing schemes in rural Jamaica. Some 900 householders affixed their signatures to the letter, which was sent to the prime minister.
"We believe that the Government of Jamaica has treated us with scant regard and disdain," said Hitchman. "We are, therefore, calling on all residents of Cornwall Court, Green Pond Proper, King Street, and everyone else who is affected to join in demanding that this road be rehabilitated immediately."
Beside the dust nuisance, which has resulted in numerous case of respiratory illnesses, the boulders and trenches have been damaging vehicles and motorists have fallen prey to ambushes staged by gunmen.
"There is hardly a night that a motorist does not get robbed on this road," a policeman, who lives in the community told The Gleaner.
"When I came here 13 years ago, it took me no more than 10 minutes to drive to downtown Montego Bay, now it is taking me 45 minutes, in addition to the extra wear and tear on my vehicle."
Prior to last year's general election, rehabilitation work under the Jamaica Development Infrastruc-ture Programme was taking place on the road. However, since the election, work has come to a standstill, as reports are that the contractor is awaiting payment for work previously done.