The Government of Jamaica will move to implement the Greater Infrastructure Development Programme (GIDP) on the conclusion of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).
According to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the GIDP will be used to promote productivity, connectivity, and protection of the environment.
With the GIDP, the Government will also maximize the utilization of the historic asset, Port Royal, through sustainable infrastructure development.
“The objective is to cut the travel time to anywhere on the island to an hour and a half, now imagine what that can do. Just yesterday (Monday), we opened a Kingston Cruise Ship Terminal, it’s called the Port Royal Cruise Ship Terminal. For many years we have toyed with the idea of what are we going to do with this major asset we call Port Royal,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister’s comments came yesterday (January 21) while speaking at the Caribbean Infrastructure Forum, CARIF at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston.
During his presentation, Prime Minister Holness noted that, as the country expands its infrastructure, there will be issues of social equity and justice, protecting historical artifacts, and preserving and protecting the environment which must be dealt with.
In that regard, to protect the historic underwater areas in Port Royal, the Government has integrated technology in developing a sea walk that extends from the land to the cruise ships to receive visitors.
The Prime Minister said, with the holistic development of Port Royal as a cruise destination, the environment and the people will be at the centre. According to Prime Minister Holness, this will add significant economic value.
“So, with this investment in Port Royal there will be works to build a seawall, there will be works to raise the various foundations of the buildings we are putting in. We will, within Port Royal, remove houses that are at risk and place [the people] in safer places. So, the truth is that the investment in Port Royal is not only going to create economic value, but it is also going to protect the environment and improve the lives of the people,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness asserted that the Government will take a proactive approach, and invest in the country’s infrastructure.
“Neglect of infrastructure is just as bad as trying to develop the infrastructure, so for me, it is better to spend the resources to develop the infrastructure and spend the resources to protect the infrastructure from environmental damage. The truth is that if you leave the infrastructure there, it is going to be damaged by the natural phenomena of climate change,” said Prime Minister Holness.