Theft stalls installation of lights along Hanover roadway

Theft of wires is being blamed for the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) delay in installing 10 street lights along the Orange Bay to Negril roadway in Hanover. Numerous accidents have been reported during night hours because that section of the road is not properly lit.

Detommie Fuller, JPS area manager for western Jamaica, said in the most recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) that the theft of wires is setting back the project..

“So, previously, poles had been put up, wires and the transformers installed, but we had not put in the lights, because we know usually there is a high risk of the lights being stolen if they are not on (energized), and so waiting for that process to happen (approval by the government electrical inspector), we did not put up the lights because thieves stole the wires,” said Fuller.

“We can’t have a delay between installing and energisation, for the same reason. If we put up the lights without energising them, we expect that they are likely to be stolen; especially because it is not a highly-populated area, the risk is even greater,” added Fuller.

Marvell Sewell, councillor for the Green Island division, who has been at the forefront of the fight to have the lights installed, pointed out that work has started on the project to install the lights along the corridor, which has to be approved by the government electrical inspector (GEI) before the power lines can be energised.

GO AHEAD AND INSTALL LIGHTS

“Where are we now? Basically, the work was completed on Tuesday (February 9). However, the conductor that was previously installed was stolen, and so as we speak today, the project team is in the process of reordering the wiring and engaging a contractor to reinstall the conductor so that we can get the GEI to come back and do the reinspection, and give us the certification so we can go ahead and install the lights and energise the lines,” explained Fuller.

“So, based on where we are now, I am pretty confident that by the end of the month February), the lights will be installed and energised, having completed all the recommended work from the government electrical inspector,” added Fuller.

The JPS has been under criticism at recent monthly meetings of the HMC, including numerous complaints from Sewell about the failure to install the lights along the Orange Bay to Negril road, despite the fact that the Ministry of Local Government had granted the approval for the installation of the 10 street lights over two years before.

The concerns by the councillors also revolved around the failure of the JPS representative to attend the HMC’s monthly meetings over an extended period, denying them the opportunity to ask pertinent questions regarding the light and power company’s operations in the parish.


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