A new online platform has been launched to give contractors a heads-up on any crucial underground infrastructure before they break ground.
The site ClickB4UDig.ky is a partnership between the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, and the Department of Planning.
Launched on Monday, the site serves as a portal for people to submit applications to OfReg to be reviewed, after which they will be passed on to the relevant licensees to check to ensure the proposed project will not damage any underground internet cables, power lines, or water or sewer pipes.
The applicant will be informed when all parties have studied the application and found no issues preventing the process moving forward. All relevant planning and development regulations must then be followed before construction can begin, stated a press release from the Government Information Service.
“Damage to essential infrastructure can be costly and lead to a fine under the Information & Communications Technology Law or the Utility Regulation and Competition Law,” said the press release.
Director of Planning Haroon Pandohie said the new site could help keep workers safe while preventing accidental damage.
“Accidentally hitting buried power lines can have serious – sometimes irrevocable – consequences, particularly for those working in development and construction,” said Pandohie. “ClickB4UDig is an important collaboration between the Department of Planning and OfReg which will keep workers safe from injury and protect the jurisdiction’s infrastructure from damage.”
OfReg executive director Alee Fa’amoe, agreed, saying, “Infrastructure like internet and electric cabling is fundamental to persons going about their lives and work in the Cayman Islands. Protecting these assets is essential to prevent disruption from avoidable outages, which can be expensive to fix and have considerable consequences on our economic output.”
Noting the 68.6% increase in the value of building permits for the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, as well as approved projects worth $618.3 million, Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew pointed to the importance of the new portal.
“ClickB4UDig crystallises expertise from the Department of Planning and OfReg to ensure the industry is safe, sustainable and cost-effective for the long term,” Hew said.
He added the government has implemented measures “to ensure this vital pillar of the economy is able to withstand the global fallout from the COVID-19 crisis; ClickB4UDig is another example of our efforts to support the dynamic construction sector”.
To submit an application to have a project site checked, go to https://www.clickb4udig.ky/.