Jhelum to get 2 hi-tech dredgers

news_26_6_2011_7-300x238Srinagar, June 25: After years of inordinate delay, the Jammu and Kashmir Government on Saturday signed an agreement for procuring state-of-the-art dredgers with renowned 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.

The agreement was signed between the president Ellicott Dredges, Peter Bowe, and Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, MR Shola, here. By virtue of the agreement, Ellicott Dredges will supply two dredgers for Jhelum conservation at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crores.

JK-Signing_India-5-225x300“It is an emotional and a special day for me as I have renewed my family’s association with J&K after 51 years. My father Richard Bowe signed an agreement with J&K Government in 1960. We are in the business of making dredgers for over a century and I assure that our machines will definitely help to salvage the Jhelum,” Peter Bowe told Greater Kashmir after signing the agreement.

MR Shola sounded optimistic that the dredgers will speed up the conservation of Jhelum.

“Hopefully the dredgers would reach the Valley in next few months. The dredgers would help to increase the carrying capacity of Jhelum and speed up conservation measures. Due to heavy influx of silt over the decades, the river bed has been raised extensively. Once the dredgers reach here, our priority would be improve the water circulation and clean the flood spill channels,” Shola said.

Officials said the devastating flood in 1959 caused backwater effects to Jhelum due to low outflows from Wullar Lake in north Kashmir which had been nearly chocked by heavy accumulation of silt and narrow outflow channel.

The then J&K Prime Minister Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad 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.

JK-Signing_India-7-300x225The 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 several dredgers were purchased.

“The dredgers were procured by Ministry of Water Transport through Port Authority ofIndia Vishakatpatnam out of which four dredgers were allocated to J&K for dredging of outflow channel. To look after this gigantic task, four mechanical divisions were created. Four suction dredges alongwith allied equipment like tugs, tippers and dumpers were deployed to achieve the results,” the Chief Engineer said.

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 taken place 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 now,” he said.

He maintained that to prevent submergence of low lying areas and floods in the Valley, dredging of Jhelum’s outflow channel is the only viable solution.

Pertinently, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department in 2009 had submitted Rs 2000 crore project to the Ministry of Water Resources for conservation of Jhelum. The project included many restoration works including dredging of outflow channels, protection and anti-erosion works and increasing hydraulic efficiency.

However, the Ministry 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.

Jhelum is considered to be the lifeline of Kashmir owing to its immense social-ecological role as major source of irrigation. Originating from Verinag in South Kashmir, Jhelum is joined by four streams, Sundran, Brang, Arapath and Lidder in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.

Besides these, small streams like Veshara and Rambiara also feed the river with fresh waters.

The Jhelum meanders in a serpentine way from South to North Kashmir and finally settles in Wullar, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, before pouring into Pakistan through Baramulla.
However, during the past over three decades, Jhelum’s glory has been marred due to inflow of sewage, dumping of garbage and, importantly, absence of conservation measures.

Reprinted from Greater Kashmir

India Procures Ellicott Dredges for Flood Control and Port Work (1961)

Improvement and development of a minor river in the Minor Ports in India, which will significantly affect the nation’s overall economic progress is to be carried out by several Ellicott dredges.

Two of these units, 12-inch hydraulic pipeline models of Ellicott’s portable “DRAGON” class, have been purchased by the Jammu and Kashmir government.  They are to be applied to a flood control project on the Jehlum River.

This waterway, which flows through the Srinigar Valley in Kashmir, floods adjacent agricultural areas each year, washing out important crops and rendering many people homeless.  The flooding is caused by the raising, over the years, of the level of the river bed which makes the Jehlum incapable of handling the maximum volume of water flowing into it each spring when the snows on the surrounding Himalayas melt.  This condition is further aggrivated by several tributaries carrying additional snow water and silt from nearby hills into the Jehlum.

Contract negotiations were completed by Ellicott’s authorized representative Blackwood Hodge (India) Pvt. Ltd. and the “DRAGONS,” were partially manufactured in India by Ellicott’s licensee, The Hooghly Docking and Engineering Company of Howrah.  They have been placed in operation to widen and deepen a 17 mile outfall channel to a bed width of 400-450 feet and a depth of about 22 feet below high water datum.  This river dredging, which is estimated to accommodate the seasonal melting snow water, will involve the removal of between 8 and 10 million cubic yards of solids, varying in type from coarse river sand to compacted clay and small gravel.

Both dredges are now operating.  The first started work following commissioning ceremonies honored by the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.  They have a digging depth of 26 feet, a maximum output of approximately 250 cubic yards per hour and can pump through pipelines varying in length up to 3,000 feet.

The portability of the dredges, insured by their matchmarked part construction, proved advantageous to their delivery.  As no rail communications were available from Pathankote to the dredging site at Buramulla, near Srinigar, Kashmir’s capitol, it was necessary to convey them by truck over some 300 miles of steep and winding mountain roads.  Narrow roadways and bridges had to be considered in the gross weight and widths of the truck loads.  However, the dredges’ sectionalized design enabled the problems of transport to be met and the floating excavators to be moved to the job site satisfactorily.

Minor Ports Project

The second major development involving Ellicott dredges is the improvement of a number of Minor Ports on India’s east and west coasts, their usefulness restricted by the pile up of submerged sandbars and spits at harbor entrances.  To overcome these navigational hindrances, two 22-inch Ellicott designed self-propelled, sea-going hydraulic partial-electric pipeline dredges have been ordered.  Also to be partially manufactured in India by “Hooghly,” the contract for them was signed recently between Ellicott and the India Supply Mission in Washington.

These two units will form the nucleus of a dredge pool established by the Government of India, Ministry of Transport and will be based in the ports of Bombay and Visakhaptnam.  Because of the dredging required in the open sea, over sandbars and exposed entrance channels they have been uniquely designed as sea-going and self-propelled.

The Minor Ports, along India’s 3,000 mile coastline, handle millions of tons of cargo yearly including vital exports of high-grade iron ore, manganese, tea, cotton, salt, bauxite, hides and mica.  Continuous maintenance dredging to permit vessels of sufficient draft to enter the harbors for loading the export items is of fundamental importance to the continuance and expansion of India’s international trade.  These dredges will contribute materially toward the achieving of this objective.

JK to import dredgers for Jhelum restoration

Srinagar, Nov 29: In its endeavour to boost the restoration of Jhelum- the lifeline of Kashmir- the State Government has started the process to procure state-of-the-art machines from the United States.

Officials said the decision to procure the machines was taken after the Government of India recently sanctioned Rs 97 crores for Jhelum conservation. The Government has placed orders with the Ellicott Dredges— one of the oldest and successful dredging companies based in US, which has been supplying dredging equipment worldwide for past over 125 years.

The Irrigation and Flood Control Department had last year 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.

The Chief-Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, Mir Najeebullah, said the process has been started to procure the dredgers. “Jhelum’s outflow channel in Baramulla has lost its carrying capacity due to extensive siltation. The channel needs immediate dredging to facilitate smooth flow of the river. The mammoth job can only be undertaken with latest machinery. We have placed orders from one of the best companies based in US for procurement of the dredgers. Hopefully, the machines will reach the Valley by March 2011,” Najeebullah told Greater Kashmir.

He said the department has selected the same company from which first dredger was procured in early ‘50s. “Presently, we are undertaking cleaning of the river’s flood channels to minimize the flood threat in summer. Due to siltation and encroachment, the river’s overall carrying capacity has decreased up to 84.96 cusecs from 481.45 cusecs. The project envisages to improve and sustain its capacity and then go for beautification,” he said.

He said the department has digitized all the data regarding intake and outtake water levels, flood gauge and river’s carrying capacity for the past 50 years and it facilitated formulation of a comprehensive plan for the Jhelum’s long-term conservation.

“The completion of the Chattabal Weir 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 and Kuta Kul respectively. We will also procure a multipurpose Water Master Classic machine exclusively to dredge out the spill channels,” he added.

Originating from Verinag in south Kashmir, Jhelum is joined by four streams, Sundran, Brang, Arapath and Lidder is Islamabad district. Besides small streams like Veshara and Rambiara also feed the river with fresh lease of water. The river is considered to be lifeline for Kashmir as it is the main source for irrigation. However, during the past over three decades, Jhelum’s glory has been marred due to inflow of sewage, dumping of garbage and, importantly, absence of conservation measures.

via JK to import dredgers for Jhelum restoration Lastupdate:- Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT GreaterKashmir.com.

White House Announces Sale by Ellicott Dredges, LLC during President Obama’s Trip to India

For Immediate Release Nov. 10, 2010

During President Obama’s historic visit to India last week the White House announced a new sale to India of two dredgers by Ellicott Dredges, LLC of Baltimore, Maryland.  See the White House Press Release here.  Ellicott was included in the White House’s announcement along with other leading American companies such as Boeing, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, Bell Helicopter, and Bucyrus.

Maharashtra Maritime Board will be using two Series 370 HP Dragon™ Cutterhead Dredges, the most popular cutter dredge ever built, to maintain fishing ports and various tributaries in the State of Maharashtra, in western India.  Since President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) in his 2010 State of the Union Address, the US Department of Commerce has vigorously advocated for small and medium-sized businesses like Ellicott to help increase American exports.

President Obama announces US$10 Billion of contracts between Indian and American companies including Ellicott. (Photo courtesy of The Indian Express)

President Obama announces US$10 Billion of contracts between Indian and American companies including Ellicott. (Photo courtesy of The Indian Express)

Ellicott Dredges is the leading US manufacturer of small and medium sized dredges.  It celebrated its 125th anniversary this year. Ellicott sold its first dredge to India half a century ago.  In March 2010, US Commerce Secretary Locke visited Ellicott’s Baltimore plant and called Ellicott “an iconic [American] exporter.

US Commerce Secretary Locke (at podium) and Congressman John P. Sarbanes in front of Ellicott Series 370 HP Dragon™ Cutterhead Dredge during their visit to Ellicott's Baltimore factory.

US Commerce Secretary Locke (at podium) and Congressman John P. Sarbanes in front of Ellicott Series 370 HP Dragon™ Cutterhead Dredge during their visit to Ellicott’s Baltimore factory.

Ellicott President Peter Bowe thanked the Department of Commerce for its help in securing this contract award and stated his appreciation for the Administration’s support for US exports.

The 370HP Dragon™ Dredge is the most efficient, cost-effective, portable dredging system available anywhere.

The 370HP Dragon™ Dredge is the most efficient, cost-effective, portable dredging system available anywhere.

For more info, contact Robin Manning at (410) 545-0232 or [email protected].

Article reprinted from Dredge.com