Restoration of Dal Lake using Grab Aquatic weed harvester


Dal Lake is the most important landmark of Srinagar which is spread over a total of 26 Sq. Km. Dal lake boating offers a stunning view of nature, a finest illustration of power and beauty of nature. The canopied Shikaras and Houseboats offering a sail on the gleaming water lake is the star attraction of Srinagar and worth experiencing.

This iconic attraction is now facing a slow death. Proliferation of weeds especially Lily pads in various parts of Dal Lake is taking a heavy toll on its flora and fauna. The thick growth of weeds hampers movement of Shikaras and affects aesthetic beauty of the lake, as well.

Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has begun cleaning operations at the Dal Lake. Manual de-weeding is a hard work and there are not many people readily available to engage in manual removal of the water lilies from the lake. A common issue faced by Authority in the mechanical de weeding is that the roots of the lily weeds remains underwater and that leads to new growth in short span. Hence the process has to be repeated again and again. For the continuous maintenance of the lake, LAWDA has ordered a Grab Dredger and a dumb barge.

Experts from Navgathi after understanding the issues designed a self propelled Aquatic Weed Harvester with 2 tonnes lifting capacity and reach up to 7 meters depth. Tata Hitachi EX 200 Hydraulic Excavator was redesigned for marine application. The crane rest directly on the barge, and is capable of swiveling over 270°. 2 raking blades of 2m length and 1 to 1.3m depth, hydraulically operated from the main cabin does the grab work.

The grab is designed for removing the weeds/lily pads along with roots, i.e. about 6” to 9”of mud is scooped along with the weeds. The mud or soil will get washed out when the bucket

is raised through the water. The weeds thus collected will be transferred to a 60 ton dumb barge which ensures the shifting of deweeded material to banks without any seed dispersal. Depth at Dal lake is below 1 meter in some areas, So the Aquatic weed harvester is designed with draught of 0.7 meters to operate even in such shallow areas of the lake

We have designed the grab dredgers for shallow water operations especially in confined areas. These compact dredgers are easy to operate with reduced maintenance costs and high levels of autonomy.

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