New Minister of Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh, on Wednesday defended the controversial destruction of the Highway Re-Route camp.
Singh, responding to media questions after the handing over of the portfolio at the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) head office on South Quay Port of Spain, said he will not interfere with moves made by new Security Minister Jack Warner.
"If you are in breach of the law, the law has to be enforced and therefore if you do not have enforcement you will have a behaviour that will continue," he said.
Singh said there was no need for any new dialogue with the group.
"I indicated that there was a continuum in Government so what I inherited was the completion of the regulatory function and that therefore there was nothing new for me to add to that because that was the extent of the duty and responsibility of the regulatory EMA (Environmental Management Agency)," he said.
"Government is continuity, therefore this continuum will continue," Singh said.
"My understanding is that the CEC (Certificate of Environmental Clearance) was granted for that so it was not an environmental issue in the narrow context of the portfolio," he said.
Singh received the environmental aspect of his new portfolio from Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.
He said under his purview he planned to continue with the legislation and policies started under Moonilal including the Beverage Container Bill, air and noise pollution laws and areas of forestation policy.
He said a Ministry dedicated to water resource management is unheard of in the Western Hemisphere and only first world countries like Singapore have similar mandates.
Singh, as the new leader of Government Business, said he does not expect any contradiction from the Opposition or the Independent senators. He said the Senate was a place of "gentility, of deliberation and of a kind of maturity".
"If they exhibit those qualities then I will do so in like fashion, but if they show behaviour that is inappropriate in the Senate, well then they will be dealt with," he said.