Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dredging of Pasig River half-finished

Manila Standard

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission estimates 2 million cubic meters of silt or about half the targeted volume dredged after seven months of work.

Belgian firm Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon will scoop the remaining 1.3 million cubic meters under the contract before year-end.

President Gloria Arroyo issued Executive Order 717 in March 2008, declaring the dredging of Metro Manila’s main waterway a priority of her administration.

The project was deemed urgent because of the frequency of flooding caused by uneven weather patterns brought by climate change, which displaced residents of Metro Manila particularly in last year’s streak of typhoons led by Ondoy.

Dredging expects to deepen the river to 6 meters from its current level of 4 meters.

Baggerwerken has dredged sections at the river’s mouth leading to Manila Bay, the stretch between Sta. Cruz and Del Pan bridges, Nagtahan, upstream to Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasig.

Along with speeding up the water flow, the removal of toxic wastes that go with the sediments will improve water quality of the river.

Under the project specification, the contractor’s technology employs overdepth capping to dispose of contaminated materials dug up from the river.

The technology involves digging a pit on the seabed. Inside the pit are 10 cell blocks where dredged sediments are deposited and sealed to prevent contamination.

According to proponents, Baggerwerken has contracts in Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Argentina and Papua New Guinea.

The commission headed by Secretary Eleazar Quinto is an attached agency of Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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