Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS -

Den­nis Chung, the chair­man of the Na­tional Solid Man­age­ment Waste Author­ity (NSWMA), which man­ages the River­ton land­fill, said, re­gard­ing the di­vest­ment of the land­fill, “We had re­ceived more than 30 re­sponses, and peo­ple are still in­ter­ested, but I don’t know if the in­ter­est is as high as it was be­fore be­cause so much time has passed.”

He ex­plained that in­for­ma­tion reach­ing him was that the ini­tial ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est that was done for the di­vest­ment was stopped by the con­trac­tor gen­eral at the time be­cause of some gram­mat­i­cal er­ror in the re­quest for pro­posal.

“That set the whole thing back by about two years,” he added.

A com­mit­tee was sub­se­quently ex­pected to be es­tab­lished with re­spect to the di­vest­ment, and “the mat­ter of the pri­vati­sa­tion was trans­ferred to an en­ter­prise team at the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, and they just didn’t do any­thing with it,” said the NSWMA chair­man.

“So you [are] talk­ing about four to five years wait­ing [for] an in­vest­ment that, be­cause of bu­reau­cratic is­sues, we could have had, when you look at im­pact and ev­ery­thing over the time, maybe US$1 bil­lion worth of in­vest­ment in the econ­omy and bet­ter garbage col­lec­tion hap­pen­ing al­ready, and that it­self has a cost,” said Chung, an ac­coun­tant. “It’s a sig­nif­i­cant cost to the

coun­try,” he said.

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