Mandeville has a far way to go before city status, says Holness | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the south central town of Mandeville in Manchester has a far way to go before it can be officially considered to become Jamaica’s third city.

Holness is suggesting that the Manchester Municipal Corporation has to fix a myriad of traffic and other developmental issues which he said have created chaos and a level of disorganisation in the parish capital, to start the town’s transformation into becoming a metropolis.

Earlier this year, Mandeville Mayor, Donovan Mitchell, indicated that the town should be carefully looked at as the island’s third city, given its geographical location, which is far from the coastline, as are the cases with Kingston and Montego Bay, the island’s two existing cities.

But in weighing into the discussion at the ground-breaking for a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) complex in Bloomfield, Mandeville on Thursday, Holness said while the town is going through a “rapid phase of construction and change”, the area requires a masterplan.

“You have residential mixed up with commercial, mixed up with industrial. There is no planning for parking. It is a nightmare for the local authorities, and the municipal authorities need to figure out how we order the town, collect garbage,” Holness stated.

He pointed to an aerial view of the town, which he said “immediately” highlighted the “chaos, disorder, (and) disorganisation.

“We want to change all of that,” he indicated.

To that end, the prime minister urged the Manchester Municipal Corporation to focus on developing its town planning skills.

“You need to set the foundation for a rational plan of development that will include your traffic flow, proper parking, proper markets and so forth, and then put it to the private sector to say build according to this plan,” Holness reasoned.

Despite the reservations about the city status of Mandeville at the present time, he said: “There is nothing stopping Mandeville becoming a city”.

He encouraged persons to envision Mandeville as a city with high-rise structures, lovely parks, orderly streets, and buildings that support industry and education.

“Can you imagine a Mandeville like that? If it were to happen within the next eight years in time for vision 2030, you would then begin to realise that the building pace would have to increase far more than it is now,” suggested Holness.