Categorized | National News

Road excavation fines increase by thousands

Utility companies are  to be held accountable for their laxed approach in properly restoring roads. This will  come through  an amendment to the Road Act  with  hefty fines  imposed to the offending companies.

This was foreshadowed by  Minister of Works, Desmond Bannister, leading off debate on the proposed bill in the House of Assembly yesterday morning. 

“This amendment will bite them, in the pocket book if they are laxed and will ensure that they pay attention to the safety needs of road users,” he said. 

Making a case for the amendment, the minister noted that approximately 800 miles of road in New Providence have not been paved for 20 to 30 years.

He added that such road surfaces require maintenance and sometimes reconstruction.

However, they deteriorate at a quicker pace when they are  cut into and left as is, as  is  the practice of utility companies.

“Most often, we find the utilities cutting into the roads for any number of reasons.  

“The law requires them to first obtain the consent of the minister, but they don’t do it because the fine for excavating a road without consent is only $75,” he added.  

“This amendment does several things. First it provides an application form and a schedule for anyone who wishes to excavate a road.

“That application must be completed and submitted with a prescribed fee for the minister’s approval. The ministry of public works will then issue a permit which will give them permission to excavate the roads.” 

The amendment also creates consequences for anyone who excavates a road without permission or does not restore a road properly.

The fine here will also be increased heavily from $75 to $10,000.

Contributing to the debate, Long Island Member of Parliament and Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) Chairman, Adrian Gibson implored the WSC to comply by the law. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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