Independent senator applauds crackdown on illegal scrap-iron trade

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh.

Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh has commended the government for introducing proposed provisions to address environmental degradation by tackling unregulated deforestation and scrap-iron thefts.

During his contribution in the second reading of the Finance Bill in the Senate on Tuesday, Deyalsingh said he was pleased there was some focus on issues relating to climate change and pollution.

Referring to incidents of illegal deforestation and the theft of materials as part of the illegal scrap-iron trade, Deyalsingh said he supported measures that would more effectively root out criminals.

“The Minister of Works and Transport had mentioned once that a sluice gate in Port of Spain was removed, so definitely individuals involved in these illegal activities do not care about the effects they are having on the rest of us, who are suffering from floods and the effects of global warming.

“I think any attempt to go after them, any attempt to have greater punitive measures on these individuals, I commend, and I think this is something we need to address.”

He added that recent remarks by UN secretary general António Guterres during the climate change conference further stressed the need for a more robust policy to prevent environmental exploitation.