Reach Dredging Limited (RDL), a Kolkata-based firm dredging the River Jhelum, has refuted allegations of slow pace of work.
In a statement issued on Monday, the firm dismissed media reports quoting a local NGO that only 5 to 10 per cent of dredging in Jhelum had been completed so far.
“This is absolute disinformation being spread by some people. The concerned authorities in the state government are well aware of the fact that about 71% of work has already been done by our firm.”
“Jhelum dredging project is divided in two parts. One stretch is from Bell mouth of Flood Spill Channel to Panjinara & another is from Sopore to Baramulla. At the places approximately 71% of work is already completed.”
About the dredged- out material, RDL claimed, “As per the contract, Irrigation & Flood Control Division has allowed the company; Reach Dredging limited has deployment of suitable combination of machinery to dredge out material from River Jhelum. The company has to dredge out soil/silt/mud/various grades of sand whatever is under the water in the locations as mentioned above.”
The statement added, “The material under the river bed is beyond the control of company. The dredged material consists of 34% sand & 66% soil as on date. As per the contract, the sale of the dredged material has to be done by the company and hence the contract itself is the NOC to sell the dredged material since cost/revenue is being deducted from the contractor/company’s bills by Irrigation & Flood Control Department. Hence, the dredged out material are being sold at various locations as per the terms of the contract.”
The firm said that cutter suction dredgers are equipped with a rotating cutter head, which is able to cut the material inside the river. “The cutter head is a rotating mechanical device, mounted in front of the suction head and rotating along the axis of the suction pipe. The cut material is then sucked in by dredge pumps and the dredged material is then pumped ashore using pumps and a floating pipeline into dykes. The dykes are premeasured and also a post survey measurement is done to ascertain the dredged quantity.”
Th firm has also refuted claims that it was given the contract for the dredging of Jhelum with Hongyan Engineering Company Limited.
“The Jhelum Dredging contract was not awarded to the JV with Hubei Hongyan Engineering Company Limited; it was awarded to a different JV. Moreover Hubei Hongyan Engineering Company Limited is not banned by Indian Shipping Corporation.”