Setback to Hooghly River dredging with only 2 dredgers in operation

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 28, 2011

Dredging in the Hooghly River is virtually in a shambles. It received a further setback with only two dredgers against the required six being in operation.

Till about a few days ago, there were three. But the breakdown of Dredge V of 1970s vintage has reduced the strength to two.

As a result, the daily load, i.e. the volume of silt removed from the river, too, has sharply dropped to around 10,000 cubic metres from the normal more than one lakh cubic metres. Port authorities are extremely worried and have taken up the matter with appropriate authorities.

This being the lean season, the navigability of the river as it is poor.

Since Dredging Corporation of India is responsible for maintenance dredging in the Hooghly, all the dredgers deployed in the river belongs to it.

With the dredger shortage persisting for a long time, there was talk of even DCI chartering suitable dredgers to facilitate Hooghly operation.

But then the proposal did not make much headway presumably because the organisation was headless for some time.

Hopefully, the new Chairman and Managing Director will expedite the matter.

The two DCI dredgers now working are Dredge XII and Dredge XVI.

The dredgers that are now at various stages of repairing are Dredge V, Dredge VI, Dredge IX and Dredge XIV.

Of these, the last two dredgers are undergoing repair at Visakhapatnam while the first two are at Kolkata Port Trust' s dry docks.


Published on November 28, 2011

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