Political activist, Kennedy Budhlall, who is once more associated with the ruling New National Party (NNP) has accused the Eastern Division of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) now under the command of Superintendent of Police, Godfrey Fleming, of not taking measures to curb sand mining in the Tivoli, St. Andrew’s area.
Budhlall who is commonly called KB, appeared on a radio morning programme last week Friday to urge the police to take a more hardline approach to curb an alleged increase on sand mining in the country.
He said that Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola who resides at Tivoli informed him that he was seeing on a regular basis truckloads of sand coming from the beach where he lives.
“He (Bhola) tell me he (is) seeing it. He tell me KB, I seeing the trucks pass in front my door most time,” he added.
Budhlall said that Bhola indicated to him that he has consistently been bringing up the sand mining problem at the highest level and it is now in the hands of the police to do their work.
The former Army Officer in the disbanded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) of the ill-fated 1979-1983 Grenada Revolutionary of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, said the Revolutionary leaders would have moved swiftly to stop sand mining.
“If it was the Revolution, I bet you we (would have) stopped it, we putting all those Militia on the beach,” he remarked.
According to Budhlall, sand mining has already badly affected the beaches in the northern section of the country.
“You’re talking about the whole beach being mashed up, from La Potrie to Pearls (St. Andrew’s),” he said.
Two months ago, police arrested and charged Jennie Samuel, a businesswoman of Conference, St. Andrew’s with unlawful possession of sand.
The construction aggregate was reportedly found stockpiled at the home of the 43 year-old Samuel on June 22.
Section 2 of the Beach Protection Act, Chapter 29 of Volume 2 of the 2010 Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada prohibits the removal of sand from the seashore.
Budhlall, who is the Assistant Manager of the Grenville Market, has also called for fish vendors in Grenville, St. Andrew’s whom he said have abandoned the fish market to sell their fish on the roadside to be stopped in their tracks.
He said it is an unsanitary practice to see the fish being cleaned “almost in the gutter.”
“I don’t know why the authorities (are) taking that long to fix this thing because we sell fish over $35, $40M to Europe every year,” he told the programme host.
Budhlall fears that if the European market is lost because of bad hygienic practices in Grenada it will affect over five thousand families who depend on the fishing industry.
He said he cannot understand why the authorities are so slow in moving those fish vendors from the roadside and have them return to the sea coast where they were previously located.
Budhlall said he has already shared his concern with an official at the Fisheries Division in St. George’s encouraging him to bring the issue to the attention of his Division, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works, and the Police Force with the hope of having the place cleaned up.
“Is either you surrender to a handful of delinquent (people) and go along with the place to continue in a state of anarchy,” he added.