The deployment of a specialised mechanical dredger, brought in from Mumbai and deployed on Tuesday, to cut and remove a hard patch of seabed is expected to speed up the efforts to achieve the required draft for berthing a vessel carrying quay cranes for the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Project, said a press release from Cochin Port Trust here. The vessel carrying the cranes had arrived at the outer anchorage on June 24 but could not be berthed because of the insufficient depth of the channel.

The press release said that the Port's grab dredger GHD Nehru Satabdi would also be deployed on a payment basis. “This arrangement is expected to speed up the deployment of the quay cranes expeditiously,” said the press release.It said that the Port Trust had arranged with the dredging contractor, Jaisu Shipping, to provide for adequate depths to bring in the vessel carrying the quay cranes on schedule.

However, the required depth could not be achieved uniformly because of a hard patch - 35 metre wide and 300 metre long - parallel to the jetty. This patch could not be broken by the suction dredgers deployed.

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