NWC says fund­ing talks to im­prove KMR pipe­lines ad­vanced

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS - BY TANESHA MUNDLE

TALKS be­tween Gov­ern­ment and the Na­tional Wa­ter Com­mis­sion (NWC) re­gard­ing the pro­vi­sion of US$100 mil­lion to com­plete and re­place three ma­jor pipe­lines in the Kingston Metropoli­tan Re­gion (KMR) to im­prove wa­ter sup­ply are said to be very ad­vanced and pos­i­tive.

Pres­i­dent of the util­ity com­pany Mark Bar­nett last month re­ported that the en­tity needed at least US$100 mil­lion to com­plete and re­place pipe­lines run­ning from Molynes Road to Dun­robin Av­enue, Six Miles along Span­ish Town Road to Glen­muir Road, and from Stan­ton Ter­race to Marescaux Road.

Sub­se­quently, dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the NWC’S Cor­po­rate Of­fice in New Kingston, last Fri­day, Bar­nett said, “I can re­port that since that time we have ap­proached the Gov­ern­ment with a view to make avail­able funds so we can start to im­ple­ment those re­place­ment trans­mis­sions and com­plete the trans­mis­sion sys­tems that would have started some years ago, and so we are await­ing the de­lib­er­a­tions to see what will be made avail­able to us.

“It is very ad­vanced. I have spo­ken to the min­is­ter, with my chair­man, and the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, and I do be­lieve we are get­ting pos­i­tive re­sponse in terms of mak­ing those funds avail­able to us,” he added

In the mean­time, he said the NWC has al­ready com­pleted the design work for the pipe­lines and is now pre­par­ing to go to ten­der in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the funds from the Gov­ern­ment so as not to lose any time in the ex­e­cu­tion of the projects.

Bar­nett said the projects, when started, will take no less than 18 months to com­plete and will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce dis­rup­tion in the wa­ter sup­ply in the KMR as well as im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity.

“It will al­low for the bet­ter move­ment of wa­ter... be­cause one of the things we want to have is re­li­a­bil­ity and re­duced dis­rup­tion. We can have dis­rup­tion in the sys­tem but res­i­dents and cus­tomers should not feel it; we should be able to make the ad­just­ment and move the wa­ter into a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion,” he said.

When asked about other wa­ter mains that are in need of im­prove­ment in the re­gion, he said, “We would want to lay a trans­mis­sion main all the way from Half-way-tree down to East­wood Park down to Cross Roads be­cause over time that main would have been en­crusted, old and aged and it is al­ways good to have a large main so that you can eas­ily move wa­ter into the ar­eas.”

How­ever, he said the NWC has not yet done any prepa­ra­tion work for that trans­mis­sion sys­tem be­cause there are al­ter­na­tive mains that are serv­ing the com­mu­ni­ties that that main would serve.

Nev­er­the­less, Bar­nett he said that the main, which would pro­vide some level of backup, would cost about US$30 mil­lion.

As it re­lates to wa­ter sys­tems in the other parts of the is­land he said, “We have a good sys­tem on the north coast and we are do­ing some work in St James. So far, so good, and we still have some work to do in Port An­to­nio be­cause we want to en­sure that we im­prove the trans­mis­sion main from the Grants Level sys­tem into Port An­to­nio it­self and some of the east­ern com­mu­ni­ties. We also want to im­prove the trans­mis­sion from Ohio Rios all the way in to Port Maria and from Run­away Bay all the way up to Drax Hall.”

(Photo: Nor­man Thomas)

Pres­i­dent of Na­tional Wa­ter Com­mis­sion Mark Bar­nett up­dates the pub­lic on the wa­ter sit­u­a­tion in the Cor­po­rate Area dur­ing a press brief­ing at the com­pany’s of­fice in New Kingston on Fri­day.

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