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The General Public has a Responsibility to Care for Public Infrastructure, says Chief Engineer at PWD


Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 28, 2021 (SKNIS): Chief Engineer at the Public Works Department, (PWD) Livingston Pemberton, said that public infrastructure is a public good and creates benefits for society and the economy, hence the reason why they should be cared for by all.

“Public infrastructure has to be financed and the way it is financed is usually through taxes. They, people, pay the taxes and so if we want to control or reduce the quantum of taxes that we have to pay in order for us to maintain or upkeep the public infrastructure, the onus is on us to take care of our public infrastructure,” said Mr. Pemberton on ‘Working for You’ on May 26.

Mr. Pemberton said that there are different ways persons can care for public infrastructure and used a community center as an example. He noted that once a community center is in use, persons should ensure that it is kept clean at all times. Additionally, he said that if at any time someone uses a community center and notices any damage to the center it should be reported immediately so that it can be quickly fixed.

He spoke specifically to the cutting of the road indicating that this should not be done without clearance from the Public Works Department.

“You really should not cut the public roads unless you seek and obtain permission from the Public Works Department because every time we have to cut that road we are actually weakening the road,” he said. “So if you have to cut the road for any reason you should get permission and then we will tell you what it costs to reinstate that road so that we can do it in a proper way and in that way we ensure the longevity of that particular infrastructure.”

The chief engineer said that caring for public infrastructure should be an all of society initiative, adding that “all of us have a role to play in maintaining our public infrastructure. As small as you think it may be you need to understand that it is important,” he said.

He reflected on the popular proverb ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ which translates to ‘it is better to fix a problem when it is small than to wait until it becomes a bigger problem.’

“If we adopt those policies, if you see something, you can report it to the Public Works Department and in quick order, we will be there to rectify that so that our public infrastructure can last for the intended period of time,” said the chief engineer.


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