Temporary work to address the pigeon infestation and roof repairs at the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court is expected to begin today.
This was confirmed by the Judiciary in a statement yesterday, following complaints by court users and workers about the current situation at the court building.
Last week, reporters were forced to abandon the press table in the First Magistrates’ Court after pigeon droppings fell on them from a gaping hole in the roof above their heads. And earlier this week, pigeon poop fell on the clothes of another reporter and on a clerical worker.
Pigeons flying through the court rooms while court is in session and intense heat have become a “normal thing” in the courthouse. There is also a large yellow tarpaulin covering the dilapidated roof of the building.
“We are so fed up complaining. We don’t know what to do again,” an employee told the T&T Guardian.
The release stated that the Judiciary, having recognised the age of and the adverse conditions plaguing the court, has over the past years undertaken a number of short-term measures and embarked upon plans for longer-term solutions to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for its staff and for court users.
It stated that a structural survey of the court’s roof was undertaken in 2014 and a consulting engineer recommended work on its structural framework, as well as the replacement of the roof sheets.
The Central Tenders Board has been engaged to tender for design, engineering, cost consultancies and project management/supervision for this project, the release stated.
However, the Judiciary said the work will only be undertaken when the building is vacated.
Court operations are expected to be relocated to a property at 1-3 Court Street, San Fernando, which is currently being prepared. It is expected to be ready for occupation by year’s end, the Judiciary confirmed.
“In the interim, the issues at the current court location, such as the pigeon infestation and the need to undertake temporary roof repairs, are being addressed.”
The Judiciary further stated that work was expected to begin today and would include the installation of louvered windows to prevent the entry of pigeons to the courtrooms.
The Judiciary also said yesterday that progress had been made in the upgrade of several courts, including at Mayaro, Siparia and Princes Town.
The Chaguanas Magistrates Court, on which extensive work has been done, is expected to be completed and re-opened within the next six weeks, it said.
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