THE EDITOR, Sir:
THE RESTORATION of electricity after the passage of Category One Hurricane Sandy has sparked some criticism as the restoration process has been very sluggish on the part of the light and power company. I applaud the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) on its efforts in the restoration process .
However, we can see where there are certain loopholes in terms of infrastructure on the part of the company. Jamaica, being situated in the Greater Antilles, is prone to hurricanes and storms. It's normal to have hurricanes, storms and bad weather. In Jamaica, light poles are our medium of distributing electricity across given grids. This medium of electricity distribution is, however, a poor and unreliable way in light of the country's location.
The JPS needs to revamp this system of distribution by upgrading its infrastructure and, thus, enhance its customers' satisfaction. A better solution to the whole upgrading process is to place the distribution wires underground and maintain metal/concrete poles for the high-tension wires. This seems right away to be a daunting task. However, 'prevention is better than cure'.
The telecommunications sector could also follow this trend of putting their cables underground in a bid to also advance their infrastructures (Editor's note: this is already being done by telecoms firms). The companies need to make a start, at least within the Corporate Area, then proceed as necessary to implementing the upgrades elsewhere. Placing these lines underground would not only aid in being a more efficient and durable means of distribution, but would also beautify the Corporate Area, seeing that the dangling wires take away from the aesthetics of the environment. Doing this would then leave light poles to be the bearers of lamps only and carry out their duty of 'light poles'. This would be a major upgrade not only for the companies, but for the country on a whole, and a leap for Jamaica to be recognised, on the basis of its infrastructure, as a First-World country.
Such a project would present too great a financial strain on one company and, therefore, a collaboration with the state and the private sector would assist in ascertaining the capital required. It is 'fi we' Jamaica and we need to put hands and hearts together to make it better.
We tend to view short-term investments with more prominence than long-term investments. It is up to us as Jamaicans to build and shape the destiny of our country. So let's think wisely and act as such.