Eight Ellicott Dredges Prevent Flooding in Veracruz, Mexico

Espanol

Heavy rains in the state of Veracruz, Mexico between September and October of 2010 led to the overflow of the Jamapa and Cotaxtla rivers. This caused flooding and major damage in the surrounding urban areas, particularly in the municipalities of Medellin and Boca del Rio, south of the city of Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico. Facing this situation, the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA) decided to execute an emergency project for the purpose of cleaning, de-silting and preventing further flooding in those rivers. For this project, which included works in more than 12kms along both rivers, CONAGUA contracted separately several experienced dredging companies.

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The project required a total of eight cutter suction dredges.  All the dredges were manufactured by Ellicott Dredges and included:

  • Four (4) dredges model 670, with 14” pump and 800 HP of total installed power
  • Three (3) dredges model 370, with 12” pump and 440 HP of total installed power
  • One (1) dredge model 460SL, with 12” pump, 440 HP of total installed power and “swinging ladder” system.

This was a critical project for multiple reasons as it forced the dredge operators to deal with a number of challenges. The first one was the urgency of the job, in order to prevent another flooding event. It was critical to work with experienced contractors utilizing powerful and efficient dredges. The Jamapa and Cotaxtla rivers have strong currents, which made the dredging operation more difficult and required the use of sturdy equipment. In addition to that, both rivers had considerable amounts of trash and debris, which had to be removed as well. Another challenging aspect of the project had to do with the access to the rivers, which made it very difficult to transport and put the dredges in place.

The dredging was performed following the channel requirements determined by CONAGUA, dredging to depths of up to 5m. The dredging was performed following environmental regulations by the Mexican Environmental Agency (SERMANAT). The dredged material consisted of sand, gravel and clay. This material was placed in designated areas to be utilized later on for various purposes.

In spite of the difficulties, the project’s objectives were successfully met. In 10 months, the dredges removed an approximate total of 2 million cubic meters of silted material from the rivers and created the specified channel. The project’s results have been very positive; a proof of this is that to date, no other flooding events have occurred in this area.

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The fact that Ellicott made all the dredges used for this project is no coincidence. With more than 125 years in the industry, Ellicott is the leader in design and fabrication of cutter suction dredges. Ellicott dredges are known for having the highest quality and being the most powerful and durable. Ellicott maintains a permanent stock for most of its dredge models – something that is critical when it comes to emergency projects like this one. In addition, Ellicott maintains a strong presence in the Mexican market through its local representative Makisur S.A., with local field service and spare parts availability.

Ocho Dragas Ellicott Evitan Inundaciones en Veracruz, México

Entre setiembre y octubre del 2010, las fuertes lluvias en el estado de Veracruz, México, causaron el desborde de los ríos Jamapa y Cotaxtla. Este fenómeno generó inundaciones e importantes daños para las poblaciones ribereñas, en particular en los municipios de Medellín y Boca del Rio, al sur de la ciudad de Veracruz, en el Golfo de México.   Ante esto, la Comisión Nacional de Agua de México (CONAGUA) decidió llevar a cabo un proyecto para la limpieza, desazolve y prevención de la erosión de dichos ríos. Para este proyecto, el cual incluyó trabajos en más de 12kms a lo largo de los dos ríos, se contrató separadamente a varios contratistas experimentados en el tema de dragado.

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El proyecto requirió la utilización de un total de ocho dragas de corte y succión. Las ocho dragas utilizadas fueron fabricadas por Ellicott Dredges e incluyeron:

  • Cuatro dragas modelo 670 con bomba de 14” y 800 HP de potencia total
  • Tres dragas modelo 370 con bomba de 12” y 440 HP de potencia total
  • Una draga modelo 460 de 12” con 440 HP de potencia y sistema “swinging ladder”

Este proyecto fue difícil en varios aspectos, ya que obligó a los dragadores a afrontar una serie de retos. El primero fue la urgencia para la realización del trabajo, esto para evitar que el fenómeno se vuelva a repetir. Esto hizo necesario que se contrate a dragadores muy experimentados, con equipos que puedan trabajar rápida y eficientemente.   Los ríos Jamapa y Cotaxtla tienen fuertes corrientes, lo cual generó dificultades para las operaciones de dragado y requirió que se utilice equipo robusto y diseñado para condiciones duras.  Además de esto, en ambos ríos existe una gran cantidad de madera, basura, etc. lo cual tuvo que ser retirado también. Otro aspecto crítico fue la condición de las riberas, lo cual generó una serie de dificultades para poder ingresar las dragas al rio.

El dragado fue realizado siguiendo los estrictos requerimientos de diseño de talud determinados por la CONAGUA, dragando a una profundidad de 5 metros. El dragado fue realizado además cumpliendo con las normas ambientales determinadas por la Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de México (SERMANAT). El material dragado consistió de arena, grava y material arcilloso. Dicho material se depositó en lugares especialmente asignados para este fin para ser utilizado luego con fines diversos.

No obstante las dificultades, al final se lograron los objetivos del proyecto. En un periodo de 10 meses las dragas retiraron un total de 2 millones de metros cúbicos de material de ambos ríos, cumpliendo con los objetivos especificados para el diseño del talud. Los resultados del proyecto en general han sido muy positivos, ya que al día de hoy no han vuelto a darse desbordes ni inundaciones.

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El hecho que todas las dragas utilizadas para este proyecto sean marca Ellicott no es coincidencia. Con más de 125 años en el mercado, Ellicott es el líder en la fabricación de dragas de corte y succión. Las dragas Ellicott son conocidas por tener la mejor calidad y la mayor potencia y durabilidad. Ellicott mantiene en su fábrica un inventario permanente de la mayoría de sus equipos, lo cual es clave para proyectos de emergencia como este. Además Ellicott tiene una importante presencia en el mercado mexicano a través del representante local Makisur S.A, quienes poseen personal técnico capacitado y stock de repuestos local.

Reprocessing of Mining Tailings (Gold & Silver) with Ellicott Dredges

DOMINICAN REPUBLICHistorically, mining processes with poor recovery rates have resulted in tailings with significant amounts of recoverable material. The extraction of this material can be achieved using dredges.

There are several factors that justify the extraction and re-processing of tailings:

  • Tailings require fewer resources when compared to conventional mining. For example, a dredge can – in a single step – extract and transport the material to a processing plant located even kilometers away. This reduces costs related to capital equipment, labor, fuel and maintenance.
  • Advances in re-processing technology
  • Processing of tailing allows for additional production without increasing a mine’s footprint and without requiring additional land permits.

 Las Lagunas, Pueblo Viejo Tailings Dam

The project is located in the Dominican Republic, 105km north of Santo Domingo. The project owner is Panterra Gold/Envirogold of Australia. The gold and silver tailings were generated from conventional mining operations between 1992 and 1999. The original mining operation’s recoveries were poor (< 30%) and considerable amounts of ore were placed in the dam. The dam has an estimated 5,137 million metric tonnes of ore, grading 3.8 g/t gold and 38.6 g/t silver.

In 2012, Envirogold purchased one standard Ellicott 370 dredge in order to extract the tailings from the dam and pump them to their processing plant.

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The dredge was used to extract material at depths of up to 8m and pump them as slurry a distance between 500m and 800m and a terminal elevation of 11m.  The slurry is pumped using a 10-inch HDPE pipe. The dredge generates and pumps slurry with a 28% density.  The tailings have a material Specific Gravity of 2.69 and a wet bulk density of 1.71t/m3.

In order to increase production capacity and to provide more flexibility to the operation, Envirogold purchased a second 370 dredge from Ellicott in 2013.

The dredges currently operate to provide 24 hour per day plant feed, alternating dredges to achieve the production, with a crew of one (1) operator per dredge and two (2) assistants per shift.

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In order to better manage material and water from the dredging operation, the dam has been split into smaller sub-sections known as holding ponds. Once a section of the dam has been dredged, the void created is used to redeposit processed tailings from the plant, thus maintaining the dam’s footprint. The dredge operation utilizes the existing water at the dam.  The dredged water is re-circulated back to the dredging pond so no additional water is required.

In the first three months of 2013, the first dredge extracted and pumped approximately 80,000 m3 of tailings to the processing plant.

The Ellicott Series 370 standard dredge is a diesel powered cutter suction dredge with a 12″x10″ pump and 440 HP of total installed power. It is a very powerful, reliable and portable dredge ideal for this type of application. The first unit was supplied with a conventional cutter, while the second unit included a bucket-wheel cutter.

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Through a special operations contract, Ellicott Field Service technicians operated the two dredges for a period of 3 months in 2014. This service allowed the client to maximize the production of the dredges and train its operators on best dredging practices.

Market and technological trends make the re-processing of tailings more and more attractive. Due to its capacity to reliably extract large amounts of material and transport them without the need to double handle, a dredge is the ideal workhorse for these projects.  With more than 125 years of experience designing and manufacturing the highest quality, most powerful and reliable dredges, Ellicott Dredges is the right solution!

The Importance of Training Dredge Operators

The Importance of Training Dredge Operators

Written by Andres Borasino, International Sales Manager.

Dredges are expensive machines utilized for the purpose of extracting valuable material and performing various types of important projects. Some of the most common applications are sand dredging, mining, and navigation dredging. Dredge contractors invest enormous amounts of capital in to their dredging operation so it is critical to ensure the maximization of the operation.

Ellicott has had the pleasure of meeting many highly qualified dredge operators in the field.  An effective dredge operator is focused not only on maximizing production, but also on properly operating and maintaining the dredge and associated equipment. These are all necessary aspects in meeting the goals of a project. The capabilities of the dredge operator are as important as the capabilities of the dredge itself.

The good news is the investment required in order to enhance an operator’s skills is very small when compared to the overall project investment. Investing in operator training yields results fairly quickly and the results extend beyond a single project. An effective dredge operator will contribute to reaching a project’s goals as well as extending the operating life and maintaining the value of dredging machinery. Training is crucial for new operators as well as experienced operators dealing with new and/or different dredging conditions. Training on dredge operations is also important for project supervisors and managers who need to have a comprehensive understanding of the conditions affecting the dredge operation. If all relevant employees receive proper training, there will be fewer problems and therefore less unscheduled maintenance during operation. By improving productivity and reducing downtime, the operator will be able to achieve maximum production. Additionally, training will help ensure that the dredge is being operated safely.

A reliable dredge manufacturer should be able to provide this type of support to its customers. At Ellicott we offer dredge simulator training courses and continuous field support and consultation worldwide.  We truly believe in building long-term relationships with our customers, and we believe this is achieved by ensuring that our customers are reaching their goals with our equipment.

 

Lynnhaven Inlet Dredging Contract Awarded; Material Earmarked For Beneficial Reuse

The Norfolk District, US Army Corps of Engineers, has awarded a US $2 million contract for maintenance dredging in Lynnhaven Inlet Federal Navigation Channel in Virginia Beach, Va.


Lynnhaven Inlet annually undergoes maintenance dredging to combat critical shoaling; however, due to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Virginia Beach coastline last year, shoaling conditions were exacerbated and required accelerated dredging, said Kristin Mazur, Norfolk District’s project manager.

“Recent surveys identified critical shoaling in the entrance channel, turning basin and side channels of the project,” Mazur said. “This shoaling, if left alone, may adversely impact a wide variety of maritime industry, and threatens safe and efficient navigation.”

The project typically requires full-maintenance dredging cycles about every three years.

Southwind Construction Corporation, a small business based in Evansville, Ind, will dredge the channel to a required depth of up to 10ft “mean lower low water.” The dredging contract also includes two feet of allowable over-depth dredging.

The contractor will use a pipeline to transport the dredged material for beneficial reuse in designated placement areas along Ocean Park Beach and the Maple Street Upland Placement Site in Virginia Beach. In all, the contractor will dredge about 134,350 cubic yards of material.

Because the project was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, it is funded through a combined Post-Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations, Corps operations and maintenance funding and local sponsor funds.

The project is slated for completion in January 2014.

Lynnhaven Inlet Federal Navigation Channel, which was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of Oct. 23, 1962, is located on the Chesapeake Bay, within the city of Virginia Beach. The navigation project provides access to the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean for commercial fishing vessels, charter fishing boats, head boats and a wide range of private recreational vessels.

The channel is used by the pilot boats for both the Virginia and Maryland pilot stations based inside the inlet to transport pilots from their dock to deep-draft ships entering the Chesapeake Bay.

The Secret to Baltimore’s Success

“Why do you think Baltimore was so successful as a port?” asks Burt Kummerow, president of the Maryland Historical Society. Its location along the Chesapeake Bay? Its moderate climate? “No,” says Kummerow. “It was because of the immortal mud machine.”

Huh?

Ah, the immortal mud machine. Like many East Coast harbors, Baltimore’s had–and still has– major issues with silt building up. Lucky for us, we had a key advantage: the dredge was invented right here.

blog2Flour merchants John and Andrew Ellicott, whose ships required deep ports to transport their cargo, are generally credited with being the first to employ a crude dredge to dig out the harbor, starting in 1783. (And in fact, Baltimore-based Ellicott Dredges still produces equipment today.) But it was Capt. Stephen Colver and a design he patented in 1798 that really improved the port. According to Kummerow, Colver’s dredge, basically a floating barge with a “scoop” powered by horses or men who turned a windlass, could haul up to 25 cubic feet of mud in every scoop. Colver was paid 1 cent for each cubic foot of dirt his team raised, earning the captain a fine income of more than $5,800 a year.

For his workers, it was a lousy job by any measure, “Who could endure the odors of the mud thrown out in warm weather upon the wharves?” a newspaper editor opined. During winter, Colver plied his workers with copious amounts of liquor to keep them working and warm.

By 1806, in an attempt to save money, the city bought out Colver and installed a “superintendent of the mud machine” to oversee the work. The effort saved taxpayers $3,141 a year and the harbor, via increasingly advanced “mud machines,” has kept the port navigable–and successful–ever since.

Source: Baltimorestyle.com

Rebuilding the Wetlands of Pepper Creek

A Win-Win for Boaters and the Bays

by Bartholomew Wilson, Science Coordinator

Recycling is not just something residents of the Inland Bays can do at home.

An innovative recycling project is underway on the Inland Bays.

The CIB has partnered with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to recycle sediments dredged from channels to build up the tidal marshes of the Inland Bays.

blog-1-1In a cooperative effort to eliminate the need for new dredge spoil sites and demonstrate the potential of using this material to mitigate the effects of marsh subsidence and sea level rise, DNREC and the CIB have set their sights on a 25-acre area of tidal marsh adjacent to Vines Creek Marina.

In a process called beneficial reuse, dredge material is being used to build up tidal marshes that are losing ground, literally, as a result of sea level rise. Raising their elevations will make them more resilient to the impacts of rising tides caused by sea level rise and land subsidence.

The dredge material is coming from a DNREC dredge project to deepen the navigation channel on Pepper Creek and improve access for boat traffic. Normally the dredge material would be placed in an upland disposal facility, but this project puts the waste to work and keeps the material in the system.

Current research has shown that removing dredge material from channels and disposing of it in an area outside of the reach of the tides could result in a long-term deficit in the amount of sediment that is in the system and available to the natural process of re-building the marshes; critical to their ability to maintain elevation and keep pace with rising sea-levels.

How it’s done

As the dredge digs down several feet into the channel bottom, the material is drawn into an 8-inch pipe that is partially submerged in the water, then transported through the pipe to a barge located on the shoreline of the marsh several hundred feet away. The dredge material is then forced through a 4-inch high-pressure nozzle and sprayed in a long stream on to the marsh surface. The nozzle can be pivoted to direct the sediment to different locations.

As it is sprayed, the brown slurry, which is 90% water and 10% sediment, flows along the surface and deposits in the low areas of the marsh. It is expected that one to six inches of sediment will be sprayed over the marsh surface, with the lowest spots receiving the thickest application of material.

blog-1-2This method of spraying dredge sediments over the marsh is relatively new to Delaware, but this process of thin-layer application of dredge material has been used to restore tidal marshes in the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama for a number of years. For DNREC, this could mark a new era in the dredging and maintenance of navigation channels of the Inland Bays. What was once a waste material that was costly to remove and dispose of is now a valuable, local resource that can be used to help restore the tidal marshes and the vital services that wetlands provide; filtering the water, buffering the land from storm surges, and providing nursery habitat to fish and crustaceans.

The thin layer application at Pepper Creek continued until March 31, when operations were halted until next winter to minimize the impacts on the fish community in the creek. Work will begin again in the fall.

This project team includes representatives from DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Section, Watershed Assessment Section, Wetland and Subaqueous Sections, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays working together to demonstrate the effectiveness of beneficial reuse of dredge material restoration techniques on the Inland Bays.

So next time when you see mud being sprayed on the marshes of the Inland Bays, don’t worry it’s not a leaky pipe, it is wetland restoration through recycling, hard at work re-building our marshes.

Reprinted from Inland Bays Journal

Jammu and Kashmir: River Jhelum Project on Right Track

JK-1024x768An ambitious project to salvage Kashmir’s lifeline river Jhelum has started to yield positive results with the Jammu and Kashmir government maintaining that the flood threat triggered by recent incessant rains subsided due to ongoing conservation measures in the river in north Kashmir.

Jhelum which is a main source of irrigation in the Valley has been marred by extensive siltation in last few decades. In absence of any conservation measures, the river had lost its carrying capacity and led to blockage of its lone outflow channel in Baramulla, posing a risk of floods in the Valley.

After decades of inordinate delay, the Jhelum Conservation Project was launched by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district earlier this year. The conservation efforts received a major boost after the Government procured two state-of-the-art dredgers manufactured in the United States for undertaking dredging operation.

The ongoing conservation works in Jhelum in Baramulla district have been successful as we could evade recent flood threat. By constant dredging we removed blockades in the river in Baramulla and considerably increased the river’s outflow capacity,” Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Irrigation and Flood Control told Greater Kashmir.

Originating from Verinag in south Kashmir, Jhelum is joined by four streams, Sundran, Brang, Arapath and Lidder in south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district. Besides, small streams like Veshara and Rambiara also feed the river with fresh waters.

Jhelum meanders in a serpentine way from South to North Kashmir and settles in Wullar, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, before pouring into Pakistan administered Kashmir through Baramulla. Experts said the devastating flood in 1959 caused backwater effects to Jhelum due to low outflows from Wullar Lake in north Kashmir which has been nearly chocked by heavy accumulation of silt and narrow outflow channel.

We have removed tons of silt in the outflow channel. Jhelum Conservation Project is self-sustaining as the sale of the silt fetched the Government over rupees two crores in last few months. We will use this money in long-term conservation of the river,” Taj said adding the two US made dredgers have expedited the conservation process.

The dredgers have been manufactured by US-based Ellicott Dredges—one of the oldest manufacturers of dredging equipments. Incidentally, Ellicott Dredges had supplied the first dredger for conservation of Jhelum in 1960. The dredger was commissioned by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Procured at a cost of Rs 12 crores, the dredgers named as Soya II and Budshah II are designed to undertake deep dredging. Aijaz Rasool of KEC Mumbai representative of Ellicot Dredges in India, said the dredging operation is going on full swing in Janbazpora and Juhama in Baramulla.

“By sustained dredging at these spots we could evade the hundred year frequency of floods in the Valley. But this was not possible without the dredgers,” he added.

Officials said the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad in late ’50s had approached the Government of India to seek expert advise and engineering solution to the problem. Under the guidance of Central Water Commission experts, a Master Plan for dredging works of Jhelum from Wullar to Khadanyar was formulated.

The project envisaged deepening and widening of Jhelum from Ningli to Sheeri by mechanical dredgers. However at that time, the dredgers were not manufactured or readily available in India. Officials said it was due to personal intervention of the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru that the dredgers were purchased.

“However, the dredging operation continued only up to 1986. It was suspended due to lack of adequate resources and backup facilities. Since then tons of silt deposition has occurred in Jhelum due to rapid degradation of its catchments. This has reduced the flood routing efficacy of Jhelum’s outflow channel and its charge carrying capacity from 35000 cusecs in 1975 to 20000 cusecs at present,” officials said.

The Irrigation and Flood Control Department had in 2009 sent Rs 2000 crore project to the Ministry of Water Resources for sanction. The project included many restoration works including improvement of Jhelum’s existing dredging of outfall channels, protection and anti-erosion works and increasing hydraulic efficiency.

However, the Ministry had approved only a part of the project costing Rs 97 crores to facilitate immediate interventions including procurement of machines and dredging in Jhelum, particularly of its flood spill channels in Srinagar and outflow stream at Daubgah and Ningli in Baramulla.

Taj said all the data regarding intake and out-take water levels, flood gauge and Jhelum’s carrying capacity for the past 50 years has been digitalized.

We have also undertaken dredging of flood spill channels in Srinagar and adjoining areas besides launched navigation from Sonwar to Old City. After completion of the dredging, we also plan to remove all the encroachments on the river banks from Islamabad to Baramulla. In few years, Jhelum will be restored to its pristine beauty,” Taj added.

Reprinted from DredgingToday

Omar launches Jehlum dredging scheme

‘Govt Working On Comprehensive Flood Protection Project’

news_25_3_2012_12Baramulla, Mar 24: Highlighting the necessity of preparedness to tackle eventualities and calamities, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said that floods have always been cause of threat to the life and property in the State. He said that the phenomenon of flood cycles witnessed in the State after regular intervals calls for all the more focused attention for required measures.

“We should be amply prepared and alert to the threats of heavy floods so that we are not caught unaware at the time of emergency”, he added while addressing a function after inaugurating Rs 21.38 crore Dredging Scheme at Jati, Duabgah and Ningli in Baramulla district today.

Omar Abdullah said that the government is working on a comprehensive flood protection project to increase the intake capacity of major rivers, strengthen the bunds, revive flood channels and introduce long term and short term measures adding that the dredging operation in river Jehlum is the part of this strategy.

“While we feel satisfied by constructing bridges, roads, schools, colleges, water supply installations and similar other development schemes as these facilities are in positive use of public but when we create flood protection like facilities we pray to the God that we may not be compelled to put these measures in use”, he said laying stress on preparedness and alertness of the administration and the people to face the challenges of nature.

The Chief Minister said that the importance of dredging of river Jehlum can be visualized by the fact that the first Dredger was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India at Baramulla some 60 years back.

It was during the stewardship of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah that the first Dredger was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru and dredging operation continued from 1959 to 1986. The scheme has now been revived by the Chief Minister again today in presence of Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din and Minister of State for R&B, Javid Ahmad Dar.

Omar Abdullah said that the coalition government from the day one it took office has concentrated attention on all round development of the State and preparedness to face calamities and threats has been flagged one of the important concerns. He praised Taj Mohi-ud-Din for infusing new energy in the PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Departments adding that the Minister has not only revived old and defunct schemes but launched new ones in this sector.

Referring to the development of Baramulla town, Omar Abdullah said that he has asked the District Development Commissioner to prepare a roadmap and formulate projects for the comprehensive development of Baramulla town focusing on improvement and upgrade of old town.

“Availability of funds would be no constraint in this regard”, he said adding that the government was keen to upgrade the development process in the town. Expressing dissatisfaction over the abandoning of Jati Bridge despite expenditure of about Rs. 2 crores on it, the Chief Minister said that he has asked the concerned department to prepare a project for the completion of the bridge.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din explained the salient features of the Dredging Scheme and its benefits to tackle flood threats.

The Minister lauded the UPA Government for providing funds for the scheme and praised the Chief Minister’s pro-active role in getting the funds from the Centre. He also gave details of other flood protection measures presently in the pipeline and already launched in the State.

He said the dredging activities by operationalizing two Dredges will start from today to evacuate 14 lakh cum sediments and deposits from river Jehlum from Ningli up to Baramulla out of the total quantity of 44 lakh cum deposits identified in the area.

“This would increase the carrying capacity of the outfall channel from Ningli to Gantamulla to 35000 cusecs against the existing capacity of 28000 cusecs. The sediments in the shape of sand and concrete will generate substantial revenue to the department,” he added.

The Chief Minister also planted a Chinar sapling at Duabgah.

Legislator Muhammad Ashraf Ganai, Commissioner Secretary PHE, B. D. Sharma, Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control, Kashmir, District Development Commissioner Baramulla and other officers were present on the occasion.

Reprinted from Greater Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir: Ellicott Dredgers Successfully Tested in River Jhelum

Ellicott-Dredgers-Successfully-Tested-in-River-Jhelum

Two state-of-the-art dredgers manufactured in the United States have been successfully tested in the river Jhelum, clearing decks for launching conservation project of the valley’s lifeline which has been marred by extensive silt and pollution in last few decades.

Officials said the Jhelum Conservation Project will be launched by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district later this month. The two dredgers have been manufactured by US-based Ellicott Dredges—one of the oldest manufacturers of dredging equipments.

Incidentally, Ellicott Dredges had supplied the first dredger for conservation of Jhelum in 1960. The dredger was commissioned by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Originating from Verinag in south Kashmir, Jhelum is joined by four streams, Sundran, Brang, Arapath and Lidder in south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district. Besides, small streams like Veshara and Rambiara also feed the river with fresh waters.

Jhelum meanders in a serpentine way from South to North Kashmir and settles in Wullar, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, before pouring into Pakistan administered Kashmir through Baramulla. Experts said the devastating flood in 1959 caused backwater effects to Jhelum due to low outflows from Wullar Lake in north Kashmir which has been nearly chocked by heavy accumulation of silt and narrow outflow channel.

For past nearly three decades, no dredging has been undertaken in Jhelum. This has resulted in losing of its carrying capacity due to heavy silt accumulation particularly in Baramulla. After hectic efforts, we have procured latest machines from US for dredging operation which is vital component of Jhelum conservation project,” Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, Muzaffar Ahmad Lanker told Greater Kashmir.

Procured at a cost of Rs 12 crores, the dredgers named as Soya II and Budshah II are designed to undertake deep dredging. “The machines have been successfully tested in Jhelum in north Kashmir and they will be flagged off by the CM later this month. We are utilizing every possible resource for conservation of Jhelum,” Lanker said.

He said cleaning of flood channels is going on at war-footing to minimize the threat of flood in summers. “However, the major hurdle in smooth flow of Jhelum is in outfall channel at Pohru Nallah in Baramulla. The dredgers are tailor made for undertaking the Herculean task. We plan to dredge out 36 lakh cubic meters of silt from the stretch to improve outflow of Jhelum,” Lanker said.

Officials said the then J&K Prime Minister Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad in late ’50s had approached the Government of India to seek expert advise and engineering solution to the problem. Under the guidance of Central Water Commission experts, a Master Plan for dredging works of Jhelum from Wullar to Khadanyar was formulated.

The project envisaged deepening and widening of Jhelum from Ningli to Sheeri by mechanical dredgers. However at that time, the dredgers were not manufactured or readily available in India. Officials said it was due to personal intervention of the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru that the dredgers were purchased.“However, the dredging operation continued only up to 1986. It was suspended due to lack of adequate resources and backup facilities. Since then tons of silt deposition has occurred in Jhelum due to rapid degradation of its catchments. This has reduced the flood routing efficacy of Jhelum’s outflow channel and its charge carrying capacity from 35000 cusecs in 1975 to 20000 cusecs at present,” officials said.

The Irrigation and Flood Control Department had in 2009 sent Rs 2000 crore project to the Ministry of Water Resources for sanction. The project included many restoration works including improvement of Jhelum’s existing dredging of outfall channels, protection and anti-erosion works and increasing hydraulic efficiency.

However, the Ministry had approved only a part of the project costing Rs 97 crores to facilitate immediate interventions including procurement of machines and dredging in Jhelum, particularly of its flood spill channels in Srinagar and outflow stream at Daubgah and Ningli in Baramulla.

We hope to receive more funds soon. We have simultaneously started work to facilitate the inland water transport from Sonwar to Chattabal. In the second phase, similar operation will be launched from Khanabal to Pampore,” Lanker said.

Lankar said the reconstruction of the Chattabal Weir in old Srinagar will help to maintain a constant water level in the Jhelum from Islamabad to Srinagar and raise the flow of its spill channels including Sonar Kul and Kuta Kul.

He said all the data regarding intake and out-take water levels, flood gauge and Jhelum’s carrying capacity for the past 50 years has been digitalized. “We are committed to restore pristine glory of Jhelum. If all goes according to plan, in next few years there will be considerable improvement in Jhelum’s condition,”Lanker said.

Reprinted from Greater Kashmir