Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac informed the Assembly on Thursday that the State government was opposed to deep-sea sand-mining, but would go all out to tap the revenue-generating material from reservoirs in the State.

Responding to an intervention during his reply to the debate on the demands for grants for 2009-10, Dr. Isaac said sand-mining in reservoirs was beneficial in the long run. Besides increasing the capacity of the reservoirs, it would help the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) which drew much of its drinking water supply from rivers. “This will be a source of revenue for the next 15 years,” he said.

Dr. Isaac's reply to the debate led to Opposition members, including V.D. Satheesan and K. Babu, questioning him on his revenue-earning proposals and seeking clarification on the quantity of sand that could be mined, the tender process for awarding the mining job and disposal of the sand.