Dredging on at Mangalore port

DEEP WATERS: `DCI Dredge XVII' of the Dredging Corporation of India involved in `maintenance dredging' at the New Mangalore Port on Monday.  

Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: New Mangalore Port (NMP) here has initiated capital dredging and maintenance dredging works at its harbour. While maintenance dredging is an annual affair, the port authorities have undertaken capital dredging at the multipurpose deep-draught berth to accommodate large vessels of up to 90,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT).

Every year, maintenance dredging is carried out to maintain navigational depths in the harbour area to cater to vessels of draughts from 9 to 14 metres, by dredging about two metres of siltation in the outer approach channel (OAC) and the lagoon. Material such as silt and fine sand is deposited on the ocean bed. They get compact during the monsoon, which reduces draught in the OAC and the lagoon.

P. Tamilvanan, Chairman, New Mangalore Port Trust, told presspersons here on Monday that the dredging operations are significant as the port wants to handle ships up to 14 metres draught and accommodate vessels up to size 90,000 DWT.

While the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) is carrying out maintenance dredging of the entire harbour area at an estimated cost of Rs. 25 crores, Jaisu Shipping Company Ltd. has been awarded the capital dredging work at an estimated cost of Rs. 8 crores. While the DCI commenced its work on October 20, Jaisu Shipping started its operations on November 9, he said.

Not affected

Noting that the movement of ships is usually affected during the dredging operations, he said vessels arriving and departing from the NMP have not faced any constraints owing to the operations. "The companies have gone about their work in a highly professional manner without affecting the normal port operations," he observed.

The DCI has employed its trailer suction hopper dredger "DCI Dredge XVII" for the operation. Equipped with the latest electronic equipment to aid precision dredging, its hopper can scoop 7,400 cubic metres of silt. The DCI aims to complete its work by December end, the authorities stated.

Jaisu Shipping Ltd., on the other hand, has employed "Kamal XXVI," a bucket dredger, which can dredge soil, sand, clay and also rocks with low strength. The dredged material is filled into self-propelled hopper barges Apsarika, Sahayak and Kamal XXIV, which take it to dumping grounds in the Arabian Sea, 13 km from the baseline of the NMPT.

Mr. Tamilvanan said 5 million cubic metres of silt will be removed in maintenance dredging and 4 lakh cubic metres in capital dredging.

He said capital dredging, which is likely to be completed by January 2006, will ensure that NMP is an all-weather port, he added.

Noting that capital dredging is a unique event, Mr. Tamilvanan said the port authorities arranged a visit by students of the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka, Suratkal, recently to see the operations.

S. Gopalakrishna, traffic manager; K.V. Vaswani, Deputy Conservator; M.R. Hedaoo, Chief Engineer; and representatives of DCI and Jaisu Shipping Ltd. were present.