New Delhi [India], October 9 (ANI/NewsVoir): Reach Dredging Limited a division of the reputed Rashmi Group specializing in dredging and marine solutions, bagged the contract for the conservation and management of Wular Lake in the Kashmir Valley in May 2020 as a lead partner of RDL-ZYCHL (JV). Spanning over an area of 130 sq. km, the lake plays a crucial role in the hydrographic system of the Kashmir Valley by acting as an absorption basin for floodwater.
Besides playing a significant role in the water security of Kashmir valley, it supports the livelihood of a huge population and is a habitat for migratory water birds. However, the drainage of the lake for agricultural purposes, willow plantation, and settlements have led to the contraction of the Wular Lake area and thus its conservation is a national concern. Once known as the largest freshwater lake in Asia, that was famous for high-quality fish and water chestnuts, Wular has shrunk considerably over the past few decades due to silting over an area of approximately 27 sq. km.
In order to navigate the challenge and find a more permanent solution - The Wular Conservation & Management Authority (WUCMA) floated a tender for the "Increasing the Water Holding Capacity of Wular Lake & its feeder channel (Naaz Nallah) near village Saderkote Payeen & Baniyari for Conservation & Management of the Lake as prescribed under Management Action Plan", E-Nit No. 01 of 2019-20 dated 18-09-2019. The dredging project has been awarded to Reach Dredging Limited for a sum of 148.59 crore.
With the highest number of cutter suction dredgers in India, Reach Dredging Limited has been a key player in the Kashmir Valley for the past few years. Authorities in the Kashmir valley have undertaken this major project for the conservation and restoration of Wular Lake, currently 3.1 sq. km. out of 27 sq. km. has be desilted.
Post the completion of dredging of the critically silted areas, reconditioning of Wular Lake will contribute to an improvement in the quality of life for people living near the lake's boundaries. The initiative will also provide a tangible solution from the future floods and benefit in terms of water availability in the time of extreme droughts, to the residents of the Kashmir Valley.
The company commenced operations for the conservation of the Wular lake on 7th May 2020 with a target completion period of 21 months of which 25% has already been achieved as on date. A fleet of machinery including high tech Cutter Suction Dredgers (500 CSD & 250 CSD), Long boom & short Boom excavators, Multifunction Tug Boat, Cranes, Hydrographic equipments and tippers/dumpers have been deployed for the project. In the entirety of operations, Reach Dredging limited has employed 230 skilled and unskilled manpower.
"Wular acts as a huge absorption basin for flood waters, and being confluence of almost all the water bodies of Kashmir flowing downstream through Jhelum into it. Silting and other environmental changes have negatively impacted the water retention capacity of the lake & the huge area of the lake has turned into land mass. This project is also a ray of hope for revival of the lake & we are happy to be part of this important cause. This project shall be beneficial for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as it has enabled us to employ local talent and create job opportunities. The success of this project would also support other communities in the Kashmir Valley dependent on the lake to earn their livelihood with ease," said Sunil Patwari, CEO, Reach Dredging Limited, while commenting on the win.
"The Wular Lake has huge significance and it lies at the centre of our ecosystem. There is an urgent need to enhance the water holding capacity of the Wular lake and we are undertaking all necessary actions to ensure we are able to restore biodiversity. The work of Wular dredging has been taken up on a large scale after UT administration sanctioned Wular Action Plan for Rs 200.00 crore for conservation and management of Wular Lake. The said work when completed will remove 63 lakhs cubic metres of silt from Wular lake and will restore the carrying capacity of the lake on that area," said Farooq Gillani, the Chief Executive Director, Wular Conservation & Management Authority (WUCMA), while adding to why the project is a need of the hour.
The vision of Reach Dredging Limited is to provide integrated dredging solutions worldwide by continuously upgrading technology, developing capacity to manufacture economically viable equipment and provide end to end services for Flood Protection, River engineering and Water Bodies Conservation through Comprehensive Management Plan.
Reach Dredging offer dredging and land reclamation services including operation and maintenance of portable dredgers. Reach Dredging is a division of RASHMI Group and specializing in Dredging Repair, Dredging Maintenance and Dredger spare parts trading services. We are one of the fastest growing organization with the vision of providing Complete Marine Solutions.
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