Don’t ignore the environment, Govt

Landmass collapsed at sand quarry site in Caparo
Landmass collapsed at sand quarry site in Caparo

Guardian Editorial
June 04, 2010 –

As of now there has been no scientific assessment, even if preliminary, of the sunken earth at Todd’s Road in Caparo, so there is a measure of mystery about this phenomenon, even if there are educated guesses about why the land slipped.

In the circumstances, therefore, there should be put in place severe restrictions of movement of people in and around the site as it seems to have become a natural curiosity for people both from the area and even those who travel long distances to see this phenomenon. The point is that in the absence of a thorough understanding of what caused it and the possibility of it slipping even further, there should be caution. But having made the point, the observable evidence is that the slide is the result of years, perhaps decades, of unregulated sand mining in the area. During the tenure of the last government, illegal quarrying took hold in several areas. It came to be that both long-standing quarry operators and those who seemed to have sprung up overnight to capture a claim, grabbed State lands “free-sheet” and went about the business of quarrying. To exacerbate the situation, the state removed from the monitoring of the Environmental Management Authority the responsibility to oversee quarrying operations through the issuing of a Certificate of Environmental Clearance for quarrying on parcels of land less than 150 acres.
Full Article :


Stop the quarrying
By Rhondor Dowlat; Thursday, June 3 2010
WORKS and Transport Minister Jack Warner yesterday said a request will be made as early as today to Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan to have two privately-owned quarrying contractors cease operations in Caparo.

Sand quarrying caused landmass to collapse at Todd's Road, Caparo

Sand quarrying caused landmass to collapse at Todd's Road, Caparo

Sand quarrying caused landmass to collapse at Todd's Road, Caparo

Sand quarrying caused landmass to collapse at Todd's Road, Caparo

8 thoughts on “Don’t ignore the environment, Govt”

  1. please do get ur facts right, “illegal quarrying” defined persons quarrying / mining aggregate without the written consent of the repective authorities?- The ministry of mineral mines ( sub of ministry of energy)in collab’ with the EMBD are resposible for the issuin of quarry license, terms of minin n over sighting. People fail to realise of the six quarries closed in caparo , the main one is contracted by the EMBD!! royalties of over $400,000 are paid 1/4 annually to the government and the quarry operator is a licensed one. An order was given yesterday by some higher authority to seize all machinery n cease all illegally quarrying in the area. Can u’l,l please explain to me how it that even after showin receipts of royalties paid , contract and license to quarry the operator was still victimized.
    The quarry is regualarlly visited bY EMBD manager and geological inspectors . Each date is recorded as a site visit and an appraisal is given.
    Regardless of how unfortunate the situation is the reality is that this was a Natural Disaster! Given the heeavy showers of may 26th onwards, the raging floods and currents, undermined the sand cuttin it causing the slippage.Havoc thas was done here is actually a blessing as it would have caused major flooding in surrounding areas.
    The construction sector is now at a major halt, no aggregate can be supplied ,thus those still in operation can monopolise that market making P.E.D inelastic.
    Many families of truck drivers and employees of quarries are now in a financial dilemma. How are they to meet the basic needs of their family? Many of them over many years have become skilled at their profession thus making it extremely difficult to diversify.
    Have my points been made? Please, there are two sides of a coin and when one is considered the medium of information, do indepth research before delivering statements that are unbased and not the real FACTS.

    1. Ancient ancestors tell us that the world was destroyed and recreated many times; and at present who can argue that mother nature needs to wipe the face of the earth clean of humanity. Even after twenty-five coal miners died in April of this year the people of West Virginia wont budge from their clean and safe coal campaign. The current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico claimed eleven lives in the initial blast and is threatening to take the livelihood of thousands and quite probably millions of lives if the poisoned aquatic life is introduced into the human food chain; but still Americans chant ‘drill baby drill.’ Runaway construction is destroying the ability of the soil in Trinidad to absorb the rain water causing heavy run-off and flooding and Niki is concerned about a few truck drivers. Here’s hoping Niki lives near a river or in one of those new ill-placed developments with improper drainage.

  2. Energy minister calls halt to Caparo quarrying
    Energy Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan has ordered an end to all quarrying operations in the Ravine Sable/Caparo region with immediate effect.

    Gopeesingh blanks village meeting
    EDUCATION Minister and Caroni East Member of Parliament Dr Tim Gopeesingh was a no show at Thursday night’s emergency village meeting at Todds Road Community Centre in Caparo, called to discuss issues surrounding the collapse of a massive piece of land forming a canyon-like formation, caused by quarrying.

  3. Sustainable Development with long-term planning should be rule of thumb. Reactivity before Pro-activity is outdated. It is clear that even with clearance by the ministry in the prior administration there seemed to be a lapse in the checks and balances that made these operations corrupt in themselves. And by the way, what has those so-called royalties given us, the people. A Flag, scholarships for affiliates of parliament and grief that our money was once wasted by way of “big-head” arrogance in full view of the republic.Reminder to all that Government is for the people and not above the people.Trust only in God.

  4. Sandpit operators want to be up and running
    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.

  5. Better still, send them back to the quarry, and hope that the next collapse will bury them all. Problem solved.

  6. The fact that this news article received so little responses says a lot about the people of T’n’T. I’m heartened by the fact that Prime Minister Persaud-Bissessar has, at least in thought, sought to put to use the island’s own resources instead of out-sourcing as has so often been the case. Its actually the first time I heard that the T’n’T Defense Force (Engineering Corp) was capable of doing anything besides playing sports and putting down or starting a coup.

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