A contractor who demolished the old Marabella market in 2013, is calling on the San Fernando City Corporation to pay him for the work done.
Junior Calliste, general manager of Areremic Construction and Maintenance Services Company Limited, of Busby Street, Marabella, complained that he spent almost $100,000 to do the job. However, to date, he is yet to receive “a cent”.
“I had submitted my payment claims and the corporation agreed to pay me. This is an embarrassment on the part of the corporation. I want the outstanding payment with interest, which could be agreed on,” he said.
Calliste explained former mayor Dr Navi Muradali had contacted him to demolish the structure. After meeting with Muradali and officials from the corporation, Calliste said he went ahead and did the job.
Calliste is the son of former Marabella West councillor, under the UNC administration, Gloria Calliste. “It took about 11 days - day and night we worked in August 2013. I believe this is politically motivated because at the time I was given the verbal contract, my mom was a sitting councillor. I believe so, although I don’t want to believe so,” Calliste said. Weeks after Muradali left office as mayor, Kazim Hosein replaced him but was later appointed Rural Development and Local Government minister. Calliste said he raised the matter with Hosein as well as current mayor Junia Regrello. Calliste said he wrote several letters hoping to get the outstanding payment and was promised full payment by Hosein.
In a letter dated May 15, the ministry acknowledged receipt of a letter sent by Calliste’s company for the outstanding payments. It further stated, “Please note that the ministry has written to the Chief Executive Officer at the San Fernando City Corporation asking that the request be considered.” Calliste said he and his wife met Regrello “for three minutes”. “That was six months now. Since that, I have not heard from him. He never wrote to us. I heard the matter came up in the council meetings ample times.”
Efforts to contact the mayor for comment proved futile as calls went unanswered.