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THE EDITOR, Sir:
I was amused (which is good for the Christmas spirit) at the statement in a recent Gleaner commentary from the National Works Agency (NWA) regarding the remarks by Tessanne Chin on the state of Jamaica's roads.
I would have ended with a laugh if their commentary was not an insult to the intelligence of civil society and to the reality of the condition of the country's road needs.
Unless the NWA expects miracles, the reality is that:
1. Some 80 per cent of our roads have deteriorated to such an extent as to be almost irreparable, and many need new construction. Under the Jamaica Labour Party administration, the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) was implementing real infrastructure development and full rehabilitation of roads. This People's National Party approach is 'governing in decline', as piecemeal patching is, at best, a face card.
2. The new Major Infrastructure Development Programme, which is supposed to contain the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, is still yet to get off the ground, and, unlike JDIP, will not even make a dent on the road needs of the country.
3. To compound this, the percentage of the cess on fuels which should have been increased in allocation each year for roads is not being increased, and the amount being collected is decreasing as the economy contracts.