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LG Shri VK Saxena inspects de-silting work at Najafgarh drain using “Partial Gravitational De-silting” Process.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


• LG Shri VK Saxena inspects de-silting work at Najafgarh drain using “Partial Gravitational De-silting” Process.


• The technique uses the flowing water in the drain to take the silt away by loosening and churning of the silt


The Lt. Governor Shri VK Saxena on Saturday visited the Najafgarh Drain and inspected the ongoing works of de-silting of the drain using the scientific concept of “Partial Gravitational De-silting”. Conceptualized as a sustainable and cost effective cleaning measure, the exercise began recently. The concept ideated by Shri Saxena from his experience of dredging in the ports of Gujarat, is a departure from the conventional method of de-silting that entails removing the silt through barges. 

Shri Saxena entered the drain in a motor boat near Punjabi Bagh and spent over an hour inspecting the dredging work in about 1 km of area using the floating equipment and became the first LG ever to enter the Najafgarh Drain. He has been, ever since taking over, consistently stressing and working towards cleaning the much maligned drain and converting it into an eco-tourism hub. 

In the conventional method of de-silting, the silt is removed from the drain and put on both banks of the drain, which incurs a major cost. While some amount of silt is transported in trucks, a large quantity of silt flows back again into the drain with rainwater. Further, a part of the silt flowing back into the drain gets carried away with the water while most of the silk gets deposited at the bed which renders the entire de-silting process almost futile.


However, the concept of Partial Gravitational De-silting uses the flowing water in the drain itself to take the silt away by loosening and churning of the silt instead of physically removing the silt, as is being done till now. The churning of the thick silt deposit is being done with the help of non-conventional floating equipment and contraption modified with raker and spikes attached to the boats. The modified equipment is dragged inside the drain by the boat and it in turn churns and loosens the silt. If the flow of water is fast enough, then the suspended silt can easily be taken along, thereby effecting natural de-silting. 

Najafgarh Drain is 57-km long with as many as 121 smaller drains discharging sewage into it. The annual silt deposit in the drain is to the tune of 2 to 2.5 lakh cubic meter and at present approximately 85 lakh cubic meter of silt is deposited in the drain. 

The Najafgarh drain was initially designed as a gravity flow drain. But during surveys, it was found that two major humps were formed in the drain over a period of 40-45 years that have a total of 45 lakh cubic meter of silt deposit. The height of these humps vary from 6 feet to 12 feet, which blocks the normal flow of the water. As a result, a huge quantity of drain water also spills into the neighbouring areas and thus pollute the surroundings. The dredging corporation of India was roped in to remove these humps but the entire exercise turned out to be voluminous and time-taking. Hence, it was decided to use Partial Gravitational De-silting process that is not only cost-effective but also relatively easier to execute.

The designed bed slope of the Najafgarh Drain ranges from 1 meter in 28.5 km to 1 meter in 2 km. This means, the slope varies from 1 meter over a stretch over 28.5 km to 1 meter slope in just 2 kms. Further, at Kakrola, there is an abrupt fall of bed level of about 6 feet. Hence, it was conceptualized to carry out the churning and loosening activity at these locations where the flow of water is comparatively higher due to increased gradient. The flow due to gravity is being used for carrying out the de-silting. 

It may be recalled that, on 4th June, the LG had visited the Najafgarh Drain and suggested to clean and convert the drain into an eco-tourism hub with a navigable waterway that would offer recreational activities like boat rides and water sports. Following this, in a review meeting, the LG and CM Arvind Kejriwal had agreed upon undertaking a comprehensive de-silting and dredging of the drain in a time-bound manner.

Irrigation and Flood Control Department, is primarily responsible for cleaning and de-silting of the Najafgarh Drain. However, with its limited capacity which includes only 3 floating equipment, it can remove only 60-65 lakh cubic meter of silt annually. Going at this pace, the entire de-silting may take more than 50 years. 

The LG, accompanied by Principal Secretary, I&FC and other senior officials of the department, keenly inspected the floating equipment and the dredging work. The LG also directed officials to use this concept on a larger scale post trials and exploit the technical parameters of the drain to the advantage. 



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