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$700m in contracts to prepare grounds to build houses for sugar workers
2013-01-20 13:04:05 | (0 Comments)
The government has issued contracts worth an estimated $700 million for the preparation of infrastructure to support the construction of houses for close to 900 sugar workers.
One of the dilapidated sugar barracks in Golden Grove, St Thomas.
Head of the Sugar Transformation Unit (STU) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, George Callaghan explains that the objective of the programme is to relocate persons who are currently living in dilapidated facilities in the sugar barracks on four sugar estates, to new housing units in new communities with proper facilities such as roads, water, electricity and bio-digester sewage system.
The contracts for the construction of the housing units are expected to be tendered shortly, according to Callaghan.
As such the resettlement will benefit approximately 876 sugar workers and their relatives who have been living in Old Sugar Barracks located in the sugar dependents areas of Westmoreland, Trelawny, Clarendon, and St Thomas.
The estimated cost for the project is $1.7 billion, of which roughly $700 million is earmarked for infrastructure work such as roads, electricity, water and bio-digester sewage system, and $1 billion for the construction of 398 housing solutions.
The project is supported by the European Union (EU) under its Sugar Sector Budget Support Programme (SBS). The EU's SBS is funded at close to $9 billion over five years, with the aim of assisting in the economic diversification, social resilience and environmental sustainability of sugar dependent areas.
The concrete housing units will consist of one, two, and three bedrooms and will be allocated to the recipients depending on the size of the family to be re-settled. The average cost to construct the one and two bedroom units is $2.5 million, while the three bedrooms will cost between $3 million and $4 million.
“Persons will be relocated, Barham, Shewsbury and Muesmore; those relating to the Long Pond and Hampden factories in Trelawny will be relocated to Spicy Hill. For St Thomas which has the two biggest location sites, persons will be relocated to Hampton Court and Stokes Hall, Golden Grove. For those at the Monymusk Estate in Clarendon, the relocation site will be Springfield in southern Clarendon,” Callaghan outlines.
Share-Con Limited has been awarded the contract for the construction of the Muesmore infrastructure in Westmoreland, while D.R Foote Construction has been given the contract for Barham and Shewsbury also in Westmoreland.
Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Limited is contracted to Stokes Hall in St Thomas, while the one for Hampton Court was awarded to Pavement and Structures Company Limited, also in St Thomas.
In the case of Spicy Hill in Trelawny, the contract went to D.R. Foote Construction, while the Steel Construction Company Limited got the contract for Springfield in Clarendon.
Titles will be prepared for all units in the new settlements, for which the beneficiaries are expected to pay between $30,000 and $40,000 to get.
The new settlements are expected to support social services infrastructure for schools, shops, community centres, police stations, where necessary. Land space will also be made available for additional housing as well as small-scale economic activities.
The entire programme he says is expected to be completed by the end of the 2013/2014 financial year. “All the infrastructure work has to be completed before the houses are built,” Callaghan states.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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