Categorized | Local

A most crucial location with some high value installations – Silver Hills (Mountain range)

Adapted from Peoples Television News

“It could have been much worse.” That seemed to be the response of just about everyone  who had work to do on the  summit of Silver Hills after the thunderstorm of Thursday afternoon.

“ What could have been much worse– and Why?”  The answer– access to the summit and the high value communications installations that reside there could have be permanently cut off.

On Friday, it simply had to be accepted that had Thursday’s thunderstorm been any more severe than it was, and had the rain continued to fall, Silver Hills could have been inaccessible for a long time, to the small army of technicians responsible for repairing and maintaining their broadcast and communications’ links.

But it was no longer than 10 days ago that this very point was made by parliamentary opposition leader Victor James. The road to the top of Silver Hills, he explained, is a national liability.

It is rugged and prone to severe flooding because of the inadequacy of its drainage systems.
Technicians, however, are routinely forced to make the trek to the top relying on their physical ability, driving skills and the competence of their automobiles and their motor mechanics.

On Friday morning, technicians from PTV were among those braving the hazardous journey.

As usual, it was a rock and roll episode. Like most of the other users of the mountain, the television station’s equipment had been affected by the thunderstorm and needed to be checked for possibility repairs.

National Radio ZJB and  Montserrat’s premiere communication’s provider, LIME, were similarly affected.

And had the storm been any more severe, with rainfall extending over a longer period,  Montserrat’s communications systems and broadcasting services could have been down and out for an extended period.

Everyone including Mr. Joseph Cassell, CEO of LIME Montserrat in particular, was pleased that things had not been worse. Mr. Cassell may also have been reassured to know that Minister Charles Kirnon of Communications and Works had made a personal check on the Silver Hills road on Friday morning.

And  while the minister was on his way down- on foot- and very close to the properly surfaced  Drummond’s artery at the bottom, a number of officials from his ministry were, along with technicians and Chief minister Reuben Meade himself, evidently frustrated, when their hardy four wheel drive vehicles  managed to climb to within 30 feet of the summit.

It was close, but not close enough, for  when their four wheel drive vehicles could go no more there was no way out but to reverse off of that steep section of the mountain.

That was not the thrill everyone may have been seeking. Several, Chief Minister Meade among them, may have been more comfortable getting down on foot.

For PTV’s technicians, the decision was easy.  They had seen enough to know that this was a day to travel  light. At least, as light as possible.
For whether up or down, the trek to Silver Hills is designed for strong feet and good hearts.
Thanks to Friday’s good weather, technicians were, for the most part, reporting success in restoring normal operations and services by late afternoon.

Clearly, “things could have been much worse.” Asked to comment neither Minister Kirnon nor Chief Minister Meade felt it was the time to answer questions.

The Chief Minister did indicate that he could again be faced with juggling his economic priorities. But, the Silver Hills road did not become a problem on Friday July 23, 2010. In fact, it has been the subject of numerous reports and requests for attention, including some from PTV.

Originally built under the governor’s portfolio as an essential emergency infrastructure, the present status of the road is ambiguous.

PTV was able to confirm that the governor’s office,   being principally responsible  for emergency management, has an enduring interest in the Silver Hills artery.

There is as yet, however, no indication, of when and how the only lifeline to the complex array of communications technologies located at the summit of the mountain will be better protected from the vagaries of the elements. Until it is Montserrat’s communications’ systems will remain at serious risk.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Adapted from Peoples Television News

“It could have been much worse.” That seemed to be the response of just about everyone  who had work to do on the  summit of Silver Hills after the thunderstorm of Thursday afternoon.

“ What could have been much worse– and Why?”  The answer– access to the summit and the high value communications installations that reside there could have be permanently cut off.

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On Friday, it simply had to be accepted that had Thursday’s thunderstorm been any more severe than it was, and had the rain continued to fall, Silver Hills could have been inaccessible for a long time, to the small army of technicians responsible for repairing and maintaining their broadcast and communications’ links.

But it was no longer than 10 days ago that this very point was made by parliamentary opposition leader Victor James. The road to the top of Silver Hills, he explained, is a national liability.

It is rugged and prone to severe flooding because of the inadequacy of its drainage systems.
Technicians, however, are routinely forced to make the trek to the top relying on their physical ability, driving skills and the competence of their automobiles and their motor mechanics.

On Friday morning, technicians from PTV were among those braving the hazardous journey.

As usual, it was a rock and roll episode. Like most of the other users of the mountain, the television station’s equipment had been affected by the thunderstorm and needed to be checked for possibility repairs.

National Radio ZJB and  Montserrat’s premiere communication’s provider, LIME, were similarly affected.

And had the storm been any more severe, with rainfall extending over a longer period,  Montserrat’s communications systems and broadcasting services could have been down and out for an extended period.

Everyone including Mr. Joseph Cassell, CEO of LIME Montserrat in particular, was pleased that things had not been worse. Mr. Cassell may also have been reassured to know that Minister Charles Kirnon of Communications and Works had made a personal check on the Silver Hills road on Friday morning.

And  while the minister was on his way down- on foot- and very close to the properly surfaced  Drummond’s artery at the bottom, a number of officials from his ministry were, along with technicians and Chief minister Reuben Meade himself, evidently frustrated, when their hardy four wheel drive vehicles  managed to climb to within 30 feet of the summit.

It was close, but not close enough, for  when their four wheel drive vehicles could go no more there was no way out but to reverse off of that steep section of the mountain.

That was not the thrill everyone may have been seeking. Several, Chief Minister Meade among them, may have been more comfortable getting down on foot.

For PTV’s technicians, the decision was easy.  They had seen enough to know that this was a day to travel  light. At least, as light as possible.
For whether up or down, the trek to Silver Hills is designed for strong feet and good hearts.
Thanks to Friday’s good weather, technicians were, for the most part, reporting success in restoring normal operations and services by late afternoon.

Clearly, “things could have been much worse.” Asked to comment neither Minister Kirnon nor Chief Minister Meade felt it was the time to answer questions.

The Chief Minister did indicate that he could again be faced with juggling his economic priorities. But, the Silver Hills road did not become a problem on Friday July 23, 2010. In fact, it has been the subject of numerous reports and requests for attention, including some from PTV.

Originally built under the governor’s portfolio as an essential emergency infrastructure, the present status of the road is ambiguous.

PTV was able to confirm that the governor’s office,   being principally responsible  for emergency management, has an enduring interest in the Silver Hills artery.

There is as yet, however, no indication, of when and how the only lifeline to the complex array of communications technologies located at the summit of the mountain will be better protected from the vagaries of the elements. Until it is Montserrat’s communications’ systems will remain at serious risk.