Stronger police intervention in criminal activity surrounding illegal quarrying is urgently needed as threatening fear tactics are being used to intimidate legal quarry operators and their employees, outgoing chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Keswar Maharaj, has said.
Maharaj told the Express yesterday that reports have been made to the police about quarry equipment such as excavators being burnt and workers being harassed by those involved in illegal quarry operations.
Today, at 8 a.m at the National Security Ministry, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine and Environment Minister Ganga Singh are expected to meet with law enforcement officials to discuss the clamp down on illegal quarrying operations and its backlash which resulted in two public servants being threatened.
The Cunupia home of the director of Minerals, Monty Beharry, was repeatedly fired at and the life of head of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) Dr Allan Bachan was threatened.
Maharaj, speaking to the Express by phone, said the corporation’s municipal police work closely with the Energy Ministry in targeting illegal quarry operators.
He said the illegal quarrying business negatively impacts on legitimate quarry operators and their employees as illegal quarry is sold below the market price.
He said criminal elements gravitate towards this illegal industry which fuels crime.