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Ocho Rios needs a revival

Published:Friday | March 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) candidate for the Ocho Rios division in the March 26 local government elections, Dr Rohan Williams, has bemoaned the poor state of the resort town while promising residents improved conditions should he be elected.

In a release on Wednesday, Williams listed among the problems affecting the town the growing number of drug addicts, petty thieves and people of unsound mind who roam the streets daily, often destroying both public and private property and committing crimes.

"When I look at Ocho Rios, I am depressed," Williams said in the release.

He continued: "The town is filthy, the social fabric and aesthetics are run-down, drains remain unclean, the sidewalks are filthy, the market is dirty and malodorous, the transport centre is inhumane with members of the public having to stand in the sweltering heat of the sun without shelter to await public transportation."

Williams, 40, blamed the condition of Ocho Rios on 'elected Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) representatives' whom he charged lacked the vision and foresight to implement plans and changes that are necessary to uplift the town.

Fall from grace

Ocho Rios, once the gem of resort towns in the Caribbean, has, in recent times, been described as dirty with various sectors calling on Government for assistance. Cruise-shipping business in the town has been reduced drastically since of late, initially because of tourist harassment, then because of the opening of the Falmouth Pier, with most vessels being diverted there from Ocho Rios.

Declaring that he was ready to start the revival, Williams stated, "I am calling on all the people of Ocho Rios, the business people, including all the Indian and Chinese merchants, the craft vendors, hotel workers, flat-foot hustlers, taxi operators and every resident, to cooperate in this effort."

He added, "The situation in Ocho Rios requires a holistic approach in which everyone is made to realise that the town belongs to them and that they need to do all within their power to nurture and maintain the standards acceptable for all."

Williams underlined his claim as the man for the job by saying he was born and raised in Ocho Rios and has established his medical practice there.

 - Carl Gilchrist