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One rule for Jamaica ... and another for Mona Commons

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Shacks litter the sidewalk of the Mona Commons squatter settlement, which causes an eyesore and traffic-management hazard in proximity to the University Hospital of the West indies.- Photo by Colin Wheeler


There is one rule for regular Jamaica and one rule for the Mona Commons of Jamaica.

For those who are not familiar, Mona Commons is a sprawling squatter settlement directly in front of University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and is a symbol of the epidemic of anarchy Jamaica is facing.

Over the years, we have effectively set one set of standards for Mona Commons and another for the rest of Jamaica. For example, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation runs all over Kingston enforcing building codes in 'residential' areas, while Mona Commons shops and houses are built within inches of the main road, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street.

Delivery trucks directly park in front of the clearly marked 'No Stopping' signs, thus blocking traffic. And to compound the congestion in front of the hospital, they put pans and stones in the road when rain falls to stop vehicles from splashing them as they sit out on their 'verandas'.

Then there is the Jamaica Public Service Company, which barks about getting tough on illegal connections while even the visually impaired couldn't help but notice the illegal wires attached to every Mona Commons shop, shack and shanty board house.

Whether 'No Parking', 'No Stopping', 'No Vending', 'No Dumping', 'Silence', the Mona Commoners ignore every single sign outside the UHWI. But don't try this if you don't live in Mona Commons, you'll never get away with it!

Colin Wheeler