Is NWC a law unto it­self?

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - QUINCY LESTER quin­


I WAS trav­el­ling to Kingston a few days ago from St Thomas when we came into the Wind­ward Road area where Na­tional Wa­ter Com­mis­sion (NWC) pipe/main works were be­ing done. It was here we were caught in a huge pile-up of traf­fic that got worse when the trac­tor used to dump ex­ca­vated ma­te­rial into the truck failed in the mid­dle of the road, block­ing both pas­sages of traf­fic.

Thank­fully, an al­ter­na­tive route was nearby, but this has got me to a pin­na­cle on an is­sue that has been on­go­ing for years: the co­or­di­na­tion of the NWC and Na­tional Works Agency in road­works and pipe main­te­nance and re­pairs.

I was watch­ing TVJ’s Prime Time News on Mon­day when I heard the pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager from the NWC speak on the mat­ter, and there was some­thing that both­ered me af­ter­wards: Was I the only per­son who re­alised that the NWC de­clared pub­lic au­ton­omy by stat­ing that it holds no obli­ga­tion to an­swer to any­one be­fore it car­ries out work?

To the Most Hon Andrew Hol­ness, yes, I laud you for the great work that you have done with ed­u­ca­tion (PEP, Na­tional Stan­dards Cur­ricu­lum, merger of the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice, Ja­maican Foun­da­tion for Life­long Learn­ing, and HEART, stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of sec­ondaryschool ten­ure (seven years), among oth­ers) in at­tempts to cre­ate a sus­tain­able environment and so­ci­ety for de­vel­op­ment and growth.

My con­cern, how­ever, is if in­fras­truc­turally there can’t be an or­der of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and a clear chain of com­mand with govern­ment per­son­nel and or­gan­i­sa­tions, fu­tur­is­ti­cally, it begs the ob­vi­ous ques­tion: Who is re­ally lead­ing?

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