Quarry operators in Ravine Sable in Central Trinidad are planning protest action if they are not allowed to re-open. Mining operations in the area were discontinued following the collapse of a roadway caused by sand mining from an area in Todds Road that was leased to a private operator from the Estate Management and Business Development Company (EMBD), a special purpose State agency that oversees Caroni's landholdings. A spokesman for the disgruntled operators said there were four licensed operators in the area who were being made to pay for the mismanagement of the EMBD. The operator said it was the EMBD's fault that sand mining went uncontrolled and was not monitored.
The individual, who chose not to be named, said the EMBD also has unmonitored sand mines in the Claxton Bay area. The spokesman said the legitimate operators have always followed regulations. He claimed that if the mines remain closed several hundred people would be out of work and the price of sand would skyrocket from its present retail price of $700 a load to $2,000. This price would also escalate in Tobago since sand is shipped from Trinidad to Tobago for construction purposes. The spokesman said clayblock manufacturing companies at Longdenville utilise sand and suggested a shortage would cause the price of blocks to rise.
The spokesman argued it was a case of "Peter paying for Paul" and called on the Government to re-open the legitimate mines or allow operators to mine elsewhere. Paras Ramoutar, one of the local government representatives on the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, said he believed that legitimate operators should be allowed to continue since many people are dependent on an income from mining. Ramoutar said the operations must be monitored and not be allowed to get out of hand as was done during the PNM era.�