Thursday, May 20, 2010

�Steps on for mining sand in three Idukki reservoirs

KATTAPPANA: A survey has been conducted for mining sand from the Lower Periyar, the Kallarkutty and the Idukki reservoirs as part of the State governments plan to restore much of the capacity of the reservoirs lost to silt-up and to release scarce sand to the construction sector. The sand from the three dams is expected to fetch the government about Rs.300 crore.

Travancore Cements has been assigned the mining work and technologically advanced methods will have to be used to dredge up silt. Earlier, officials of the Mining and Geology Department had surveyed the dam areas to collect details of the accumulated sand.

Sources said four agencies had approached Travancore Cements for sanction to conduct mining and the work would be allotted on getting the final sanction from the government. At present, a Gujarat-based company was conducting trial mining in the Lower Periyar dam area. The sand-mining possibilities in the Kallarkutty and the Lower Periyar dams were explored by a team, led by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, on April 2. This was followed by a study by officials of Travancore Cements with the help of those of the Revenue Department and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

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