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Dredgers to be used to excavate chaporis

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, May 13 � Two dredgers hired by the State Water Resources Department (WRD) from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) are now on their way to Dibrugarh. The dredgers are hired for excavating the sand bar (chapori) that is viewed to be the main factor triggering erosion on the Brahmaputra bank at Nagaghuli area of Dibrugarh town.

Meanwhile, hopes of completing the entire Matmora protection project in Dhakuakhana sub division of Lakhimpur district before the rainy season has been belied by the slow progress of works to implement the project. The WRD has started imposing penalty on the Malaysian company Emaskiara with effect from May 1 due to the delay in executing the project, as per the provisions of the agreement WRD has with the company.

However, water resources engineers are not much hopeful of the efficacy of the dredgers, particularly during these rainy days. The excavated chapori may re-emerge soon with the Brahmaputra carrying more silt loads from its upstream catchments. Moreover, dredging is a costly affair and the State WRD has already paid an amount of Rs 5 lakh to the IWAI for the dredgers, said the water resources engineers.

State WRD sources here said that besides sending the dredgers to Dibrugarh, the Department is also investigating the other factors that caused river erosion in Nagaghuli area. The Brahmaputra erosion in Mohanaghat-Maijan area of Dibrugarh is also under strict observation and preparations are on to prevent erosion in this upstream area of the river too.

The Nagaghuli erosion has become a cause of concern for the people of Dibrugarh and State�s WRD Minister and the district administration of Dibrugarh have assured steps to remove the char that is viewed to be at the root of erosion in the area. If the char could be removed, the river channel will give up mounting pressure on the riverbank in Nagaghuli area, they reportedly said.

WRD sources said that there are nine boulder spurs to protect Dibrugarh town. Steps are on to keep them intact. The porcupines laid along the riverbank have already been found to be effective in pushing the river channel away from the bank. Moreover, cage dumping and geo-bags are also done along the vulnerable reaches of the riverbank to prevent erosion, said the sources.

Matmora: So far, 1,200 geo-tubes have been laid for the retirement dyke proposed for Matmora protection. Four- kilometre stretch of the five-kilometre-long retirement dyke has also been covered with earth on the riverside, while around 3.5 km of the dyke on the country side has so far been covered with earth.

The geo-carpeting, which is also part of the project, has also been done on the riverside in a four-km-long stretch. One km stretch has remained to be covered with geo-carpets on the riverside, said WRD sources. The geo-carpeting and earth filling on both sides of the retirement dyke are to be completed within the current month.

On the geo-apron tube cover to be provided to the vulnerable five-km reach of the riverbank, perpendicular to the retirement dyke, sources said that only round 300 tubes, out of the 1,500 tubes, could be laid so far, the reason being the rise in the water level of the river. The daily rate of progress in this respect is either nil or very slow.

It is feared that this part of the project would not be completed before the ensuing flood season, said the sources.

The Malaysian company, which is executing the geo-dyke project, was earlier granted extension on two occasions�first for 100 days up to July 15, 2009 and the second till March 31 last. The last extension granted to it was on April 22 last. On that day a high-level meeting between the WRD and the Malaysian company decided to extend the deadline for completing the project up to April 30.

In case of the failure of the company to complete the project within that deadline, it was decided in the meeting that penalty would be imposed on it as per the provisions of the tender agreement with effect from May 1, said the WRD sources.

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Dredgers to be used to excavate chaporis

GUWAHATI, May 13 � Two dredgers hired by the State Water Resources Department (WRD) from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) are now on their way to Dibrugarh. The dredgers are hired for excavating the sand bar (chapori) that is viewed to be the main factor triggering erosion on the Brahmaputra bank at Nagaghuli area of Dibrugarh town.

Meanwhile, hopes of completing the entire Matmora protection project in Dhakuakhana sub division of Lakhimpur district before the rainy season has been belied by the slow progress of works to implement the project. The WRD has started imposing penalty on the Malaysian company Emaskiara with effect from May 1 due to the delay in executing the project, as per the provisions of the agreement WRD has with the company.

However, water resources engineers are not much hopeful of the efficacy of the dredgers, particularly during these rainy days. The excavated chapori may re-emerge soon with the Brahmaputra carrying more silt loads from its upstream catchments. Moreover, dredging is a costly affair and the State WRD has already paid an amount of Rs 5 lakh to the IWAI for the dredgers, said the water resources engineers.

State WRD sources here said that besides sending the dredgers to Dibrugarh, the Department is also investigating the other factors that caused river erosion in Nagaghuli area. The Brahmaputra erosion in Mohanaghat-Maijan area of Dibrugarh is also under strict observation and preparations are on to prevent erosion in this upstream area of the river too.

The Nagaghuli erosion has become a cause of concern for the people of Dibrugarh and State�s WRD Minister and the district administration of Dibrugarh have assured steps to remove the char that is viewed to be at the root of erosion in the area. If the char could be removed, the river channel will give up mounting pressure on the riverbank in Nagaghuli area, they reportedly said.

WRD sources said that there are nine boulder spurs to protect Dibrugarh town. Steps are on to keep them intact. The porcupines laid along the riverbank have already been found to be effective in pushing the river channel away from the bank. Moreover, cage dumping and geo-bags are also done along the vulnerable reaches of the riverbank to prevent erosion, said the sources.

Matmora: So far, 1,200 geo-tubes have been laid for the retirement dyke proposed for Matmora protection. Four- kilometre stretch of the five-kilometre-long retirement dyke has also been covered with earth on the riverside, while around 3.5 km of the dyke on the country side has so far been covered with earth.

The geo-carpeting, which is also part of the project, has also been done on the riverside in a four-km-long stretch. One km stretch has remained to be covered with geo-carpets on the riverside, said WRD sources. The geo-carpeting and earth filling on both sides of the retirement dyke are to be completed within the current month.

On the geo-apron tube cover to be provided to the vulnerable five-km reach of the riverbank, perpendicular to the retirement dyke, sources said that only round 300 tubes, out of the 1,500 tubes, could be laid so far, the reason being the rise in the water level of the river. The daily rate of progress in this respect is either nil or very slow.

It is feared that this part of the project would not be completed before the ensuing flood season, said the sources.

The Malaysian company, which is executing the geo-dyke project, was earlier granted extension on two occasions�first for 100 days up to July 15, 2009 and the second till March 31 last. The last extension granted to it was on April 22 last. On that day a high-level meeting between the WRD and the Malaysian company decided to extend the deadline for completing the project up to April 30.

In case of the failure of the company to complete the project within that deadline, it was decided in the meeting that penalty would be imposed on it as per the provisions of the tender agreement with effect from May 1, said the WRD sources.