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Persons should pay when they damage government property – Minister of Works

Persons should pay when they damage government property – Minister of Works

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Persons involved in accidents that destroy or damage government property should be held accountable and made to replace or repair what was damaged.

Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis told a press briefing on Monday that for some time now, he has been asking the police and other public servants to seek compensation from drivers who destroy or damage government property.

Francis said the destruction of government property is a major issue throughout the country, especially in the Casson Hill area, where frequent crashes have caused thousands of dollars in damage to guard rails.

The Minister described the destruction of rails at Casson Hill as a “real disaster” and a product of what he considers “irresponsible driving most of the time.”

“You have a driver fly down Casson Hill, lick out 20 rails; their vehicle gets paid by insurance, but the government rails don’t get paid,” said Francis, who is asking for vigilance in this area.

Francis said within four weeks of the Government fixing the bridge at Mt. Young, a visitor who rented a car for a weekend crashed into the bridge’s rails.

The Minister said he did an investigation to find out who the vehicle was rented from and he intends to get the owner of the vehicle or the insurance company to pay for rail repair at the Mt. Young bridge.

He said on Monday that repair work is being done at Casson Hill and road users and pedestrians must be patient, as this is slow and challenging work.

Francis noted also that a section of the Casson Hill defence, just above the Richardson gas station, was cut out by a homeowner about seven years ago and not repaired. He is calling on that person to rectify the problem.

Another issue spoken about at Monday’s press briefing was the destruction of road surfaces by private heavy machine operators and entities like the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA).

Francis said owners of heavy machinery should not be driving track equipment on the road without protecting the road surface.

“There are some irresponsible equipment owners and I ask you if you know anybody who is doing that, let me know and I will take appropriate action,” said Francis, who added that heavy equipment should not be stored in residential areas. Heavy equipment owners are encouraged to lease land where a low loader can operate and park their equipment there.

Francis said that apart from private persons, the CWSA does a lot of damage to roads when they dig them up to place or repair pipes.

The Transport and Works Minister said that he has had numerous discussions with the CWSA and he is dissatisfied with the way they do road repairs after pipe work.

“I am worried about South Leeward highway (recently repaired) with this. We have to be behind them,” said Francis, who opined that the CWSA is incapable of smoothing back a dug-up surface and getting the compaction right.

“BRAGSA is constantly in conversation with them,” revealed Francis.(LC)

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