Run-down Vanzie Lands community gets attentionThursday, February 25, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — The Vanzie Lands housing scheme here is poised for major transformation as some $38 million has been earmarked for a massive road rehabilitation programme in the run-down community.
The project, scheduled to get underway by next month, will also include beautification.
The initiative forms part of the infrastructure upgrade of 49 housing schemes across the island at a cost of more than $2.5 billion announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during his contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.
The housing scheme in Hague was the first in the parish to benefit from the project announced by the prime minister.
“This (Vanzie Lands) is one of the projects that the prime minister announced in the previous iteration about the rehabilitation of old NHT (National Housing Trust) schemes. Vanzie Lands is one of them,” said Trelawny Northern Member of Parliament Tova Hamilton.
Earlier this week, Hamilton visited the community along with representatives from the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, the NHT and Oliver Warren, managing director of OW Construction and Hardware.
“It (project) will start shortly. The contractor is finishing up some other projects now so as soon as he has completed, he will start...maybe in another two weeks... maybe. But it is a project that will last for a while, that is why he wants to complete other projects before he starts this one because when he starts this one he will be there for five to six months,” Hamilton told the Observer West.
The first-term parliamentarian argued that the infrastructure in nearby Falmouth Gardens housing scheme is also in need of upgrade and she will be looking to see what can be done there.
“Because the project is Vanzie Lands scoped, the Falmouth Gardens community will be a little jealous, but we will definitely see what we can do to impact there, to get some work in that area as well... some resources channelled there. So inch by inch we are going to see how we can get things done because the constituency has been in need of attention for quite some time,” said Hamilton.
She took a jab at the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) which ruled the constituency from 1989 to last year when Hamilton, who ran on the Jamaica Labour Party's ticket, defeated the PNP's incumbent Victor Wright in the general election.
“What I can also observe is that pre-COVID if resources were being used properly the constituency did not need to get to where it is. Just a little attention was needed to focus resources in a certain way. I think if we cared enough we would have been in a better stead than where we are now,” she argued.
During the campaign leading up to the general election, Hamilton promised that should she be victorious, she would make strong representation for the rehabilitation of roads in the parish.
She remains adamant that she will fulfil that election campaign promise.
“The road network in Trelawny needs quite a bit of urgent attention. Almost every road that we have is poor. So what I have been doing since I came in is to identify where resources are that we can use creatively, because there are no new resources being allocated at this time, we have to wait until the budget is read,” she noted.
She further noted: “So what I did was to go in, do some research, find the resources, sit down and say this is how we are going to utilise the money.”
Hamilton pointed out that the pothole- riddled Falmouth to Springvale main road is still on her radar for priority attention.
“That Falmouth to Springvale road is a sore topic, we have known that for quite some time now and it is one of the main roads that traverse through quite a number of communities. So, it is one of those roads that I am focusing on. I leave it right there because obviously I want to do something with it, I am waiting for some confirmation first before I make any announcement,” she said.
In the meantime, Hamilton said the patching of sections of the road across the parish is on in earnest.
“We did some work on the worst areas but as you know that will not be enough, the entire stretch needs attention, it will take quite a bit of resources as you can imagine because we will have to also incorporate drainage because some of the drains need rehabilitation as well. So, it will require an extensive amount of work which means resources will have to be pumped into it,” she explained.
“What I have been doing is try to fix the worst areas of certain roads so that the passengers and motorists can get a little ease, until we can do something more permanent.”
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