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NWC says funding talks to improve KMR pipelines advanced

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NWC says funding talks to improve KMR pipelines advanced

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 14, 2019

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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.”

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