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Mayor mulls legal action against Judiciary

Thursday, August 9, 2018
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello

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Fed up with the eyesore and the breeding of mosquitoes at the stalled renovation works at the San Fernando Magistrates Court building, San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello is considering taking the Judiciary to court for creating a public health hazard.

At a media conference outside the court at Harris Street yesterday, Regrello said that from an engineering aspect, the building’s wooden rafters and flooring are being soaked with water, which can make it unstable.

Although the San Fernando City Corporation’s Public Health Department has issued a notice to the Judiciary concerning the stalled works, Regrello said there has been no response to date. He said that if the problem continues when the new school term starts, students attending the four schools nearby will be at risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases.

Under the Yellow Fever Regulations, it is illegal to have premises in a state where water accumulates and it can cause the breeding of mosquitoes.

“The council will meet on this matter and a decision will be taken. If we have to take the court to court, we will do so. We meet next Tuesday, again, because we have been making attempts to have this matter resolved,” Regrello said.

In September 2017, the Judiciary announced the closure and temporary relocation of its services to the Supreme Court Building, across the road, until November 13, 2017. The relocation was done to facilitate urgent repairs to the roof of the building and it was expected to be completed by November 6, 2017.

There were other minor repairs and maintenance to be done inside the building as well. An invitation for tender was the advertised for the removal of the existing roof and construction of a new roof with a closing date of July 5, 2018. However, the date was extended to July 19.

In a statement on July 26, the Judiciary said it was aware of the concerns about the mosquito threat “and is working steadfastly to rectify the issue.”

“We trust that with support from the City Corporation and other State institutions, we can work together for the benefit of the burgesses of San Fernando and the provision of justice in South Trinidad,” the statement said.

Regrello said they corporation only received notice from the Judiciary on January 26, informing them that repairs to the court would begin by January 29.

On January 26, the Engineering Department responded with a list of conditions that would apply to the repairs. On the weekend, a work crew began stripping the roof. However, work stopped soon after.

Now seven months later, the tarpaulin that was placed to cover the roof has been thrown apart by the wind.


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