Minister of Energy Stuart Young is targeting illegal quarrying among his goals in the Energy Ministry and resources will be dedicated to this drive.
Young confirmed the position yesterday after a video showing quarrying in a part of the Northern Range near Cumaca emerged.
It depicted how the lush green mountainside has become scarred by a huge “hole” after vegetation was stripped bald, down to rock.
The Turure River close by has also been pushed back as a result of the quarrying.
The video supplied by environmentalist Gary Aboud also showed the river being choked by mud and silt which is also washing off the mountainside from the work.
It’s turned the river into mud holes in some parts.
The road to the area is also being destroyed by big vehicles entering for quarrying.
Aboud expressed concern that the Environmental Management Authority might only charge the culprit a few hundred dollars.”
“The Government has the authority to charge a culprit,” Aboud appealed.
The video was sent by Guardian Media to Minister Young who stated, “Yes, illegal quarrying is an area I intend to dedicate resources to tackling.”
“Illegal quarrying is something I began looking into when I was at National Security and it’s tied up with criminal elements in many instances. It not only damages our environment but also funds criminality.
“I will have more to say on this in time to come when hopefully we will be able to take action against it,” he added.
Young who’s also minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, has been meeting entities and stakeholders involved in the energy sphere after he was appointed to that ministry last week.
The appointment came after the death of Minister Franklin Khan who held the portfolio.
Yesterday, Young also said he was pleased to note that the M4 and M5 Methanol plants at Pt Lisas have restarted.
The plants were left idle last month when the National Gas Company and Proman—operated Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd became involved in gas price negotiations.
Young, who had been communicating with both NGC Limited (NGC) and Proman throughout the recent weeks, said he welcomed the fact that both parties reached an agreement that led to the restart of M4 and M5.