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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica: August 2, 2015: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill has added his voice to calls for drivers or insurance companies to pay for damaging public property as a result of reckless driving on the roads.
“One of the things that we must ensure is that persons who drive recklessly and crash into utility poles, and other road infrastructure, that they pay or their insurance company pays for the repairs; it should not be the people of Jamaica who pay for it,” said Dr. McNeill.
He was speaking recently at the official commissioning of 800 LED lights that have been installed along Montego Bay’s Elegant Corridor, running from the Sangster International Airport round-a-bout to Lilliput.
Minister McNeill said the project which took over a year from inception, was executed on time at a cost of $271 million provided by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). “This project is going to enhance the lives of Jamaicans and the value of our tourism product. Value along the Elegant Corridor and hotel rates can now go up”, he added.
However, Dr. McNeill also stressed that while the TEF was transforming Jamaica, the work done on projects were not being done specifically for visitors; “the visitor benefits from it but it’s really done to improve our country, to make Jamaica a better place for our Jamaicans then visitors can come and enjoy it with us.”
He was satisfied that the Elegant Corridor lighting project accomplished the objective of being transformational, affecting the lives of both Jamaicans and visitors to the resort city.
The LED lighting was implemented in collaboration with the Ministries of Transport, Works and Housing and Local Government and Community Development.
Local Government Minister Noel Arscott also underscored that though it was a hefty sum, “when you consider the possible effect on the earning potential of the tourism industry and the safety of our citizens then it’s not too heavy a price to pay.”
He said government was hoping to install LED lights right across Jamaica and if successful, that would save the country 50,000 barrels of oil per year, “therefore this demonstration of modern technology is in itself, an example which we really want to appreciate.”
Minister Arscott also welcomed the multi-ministerial collaboration as a good example of “joined up government” adding that, “it is more of these things that we need to do to enhance and stretch the dollar that we have to invest in Jamaica.”
The lights were welcomed by Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris who also pointed to the value they bring to what he said was the fastest growing city in the western hemisphere.
The central switch controlling the lights was switched on jointly by Ministers McNeill and Arscott, officially commissioning the lights and giving motorists who were travelling along the dark corridor a pleasant surprise.
The contractor, Y.P. Seaton & Associates, the National Works Agency and other parties associated with the execution of the project were commended for a job well done.