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Hylton bats for university town

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2013 | 12:00 AM

IMAGINE A pedestrian Mecca being created around Papine square, forcing all vehicles to be diverted to a proposed bypass.

Then, picture various cafés, party streets, study houses and booming businesses in a crime-free area which is traversed by thousands of tertiary-level students daily.

Perhaps you guessed correctly if the image on your mind is that of a university town.

In pitching the idea to members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, André Hylton, member of parliament for Eastern St Andrew, said fast-tracking the township project could yield significant results.

Hylton, speaking in the Sectoral Debate, called for, among other things, a change in the housing policy, Rent Restriction Act, and building code as well as the development of policies and regulations to govern student-community relations.

New infrastructure needed

Hylton also said the area would require a new police station, a fire station, a town hall and a student-friendly park where students can surf the Internet or relax and lyme.

Home to the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and the University of Technology, the crammed Papine area is a bustling commercial space, which is used mainly by tertiary students.

Hylton told Parliament that as part of the public-private partnership, the Government has already planned to establish this university town in the constituency, but has urged that it be brought to fruition quickly.

Hylton declared that the communities surrounding the universities such as August Town, Mona Heights, Tavern, Karachi, Elletson Flats, Highlight View and Landlease, Liguanea and Kintyre would be within the boundaries of the university town.

Hylton also told legislators that part of the plan for the university town is the expansion and rehabilitation of the Papine Market.

"I would love to see produce from your farmers flowing into the market - the bananas, the yams, the dasheen, the cocoa, carrots, apples, tomatoes and potatoes. As long as you plant it, and it is legal, bring it: we will sell it," the MP said.